This progressive vision signals a strong commitment to transforming the immigration system so it is humane, fair, equitable, centers family unity and works for everyone
WASHINGTON — Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Judy Chu (CA-27) and Yvette Clarke (NY-09) joined FIRM Action — the nation’s largest immigrant rights network — today in announcing the Roadmap to Freedom Resolution as a progressive vision to transform the immigration system to one that is focused on dignity and rooted in the needs and lives of impacted people.
This immigration reform proposal develops and implements a Roadmap to Freedom by promoting citizenship, protecting and strengthening a fair process centered on family unity, promoting and preserving diversity and establishing a just, humane immigration system. Additionally, it ensures federal immigration agencies are fair and accountable, establishes a humane and effective border policy, recognizes the value of all work and promotes healthy communities. The resolution also promotes social, civil and economic integration while modernizing and strengthening humanitarian pathways to the United States. The resolution addresses root causes of migration as well.
“As a lifelong immigrant rights organizer and one of only 14 naturalized citizens serving in Congress, I know that we must do far more than simply reverse the harmful, xenophobic policies of the Trump Administration that inflicted maximum cruelty on immigrants and families. Our immigration system has been broken for decades, and we must finally reform it in a humane way that focuses on respect, dignity, family unity and real opportunity for all immigrants,” said Congresswoman Jayapal. “I’m proud to work alongside FIRM Action and my colleagues in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus to put forth the Roadmap to Freedom as a bold, progressive vision for immigration reform that is fair, equitable, centers family unity and humanitarian protections, combats systemic injustices and works for everyone.”
Voters delivered a clear political and moral mandate this election season for the incoming administration to act boldly and quickly on immigration and racial justice. Immigrants have endured four painful years of attacks on our communities, and the ongoing pandemic has further heightened the urgency to protect them. The Roadmap to Freedom Resolution is the North Star for the FIRM Action Network following its recent launch of a campaign for executive and legislative action on immigration.
“FIRM Action worked for years to reimagine what immigration in our country should and shouldn’t be, especially after watching the callousness and disregard for human life of the Trump administration,” said Lawrence Benito, FIRM Action co-chair and executive director of ICIRR Action. “Congresswoman Jayapal has been a champion of immigrant families and progressive values since before taking office and we are honored to have worked with her on the Roadmap to Freedom Resolution. Immigrant families can’t wait any longer and solutions need to be rooted in our lived experience.”
“The introduction of the Resolution takes us one step closer to our vision of an immigration system that respects immigrant families and embodies our best values as a country,” added Lorella Praeli, president of Community Change Action. “Beyond undoing the harm of the Trump era, the incoming Biden-Harris administration must take aggressive action to reverse the brutality of the enforcement system and work with Congress to pass legislation that creates a path to citizenship for the 11 million. The Resolution will remain our north star as we fight for our communities alongside our champions on the Hill.”
“U.S. immigration policies are profoundly broken and the Roadmap to Freedom lays out a clear vision for a more fair and humane immigration system,” said Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García. “We must reckon with our nation’s darkest chapter of separating families and caging children, and instead return to our roots as a country that welcomes and embraces immigrants. I’ve watched too many families to count, ripped and torn apart in my very own neighborhood and throughout the streets of Chicago. At this moment in history, we are called to restore compassion and dignity in our immigration system and this resolution serves as a roadmap to that brighter, more just future for all.”
“Communities like El Paso have been on the receiving end of inconceivable cruelty and inhumanity,” said Congresswoman Veronica Escobar. “As the Trump era finally comes to an end, we have an obligation to work together to right the wrongs of the past and create solutions that reflect our shared commitment to dignity and justice.”
“Our immigration system is broken. Dreamers who have known no other home are at risk of deportation. Hundreds of migrant children are now permanently separated from their parents. Asylum seekers are being revictimized in refugee camps at the border,” said Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. “The Roadmap to Freedom outlines a set of principles for creating an immigration system that is just, empathetic, effective and fair. ”
“It’s time for an immigration system that works for our country, one which rewards those who come and contribute instead of punishing them for trying. That is why I am proud to be an original cosponsor of Rep. Jayapal’s Roadmap to Freedom,” said Congresswoman Judy Chu. “One of the most important things we can do for our economy and the future of our country is to encourage more family immigration. Immigrants who come with family are far less likely to rely on government aid, have an easier time starting businesses, and contribute to the vibrancy of our communities. By ending family separation and improving the visa backlog – which disproportionately impacts AAPIs – we can also encourage more immigrants by no longer forcing them to choose between staying with their families or pursuing the American Dream. America has always depended on immigrants and we will continue to in the future. I’m glad to be supporting legislation that treats immigrants as an asset, not a political tool for stoking xenophobia.”
“Reversing the policies of the last four years is not enough,” said Congresswoman Yvette Clarke. “We must reimagine the immigration system in a manner that is humane, just and fair. The time has come for the values of our nation to be reflected in our immigration policies.”
The Roadmap to Freedom Resolution will be introduced at the beginning of the 117th Congress. This comprehensive proposal was developed in close consultation with grassroots groups, immigration organizers, labor advocates, civil rights leaders and racial justice activists. The Members of Congress who are co-leading the resolution represent the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus, and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus as the Roadmap works to address the diverse needs of every community while reflecting the diversity of America’s immigrant community. Ultimately, it re-establishes the United States as a beacon of hope and humanitarian protection for those seeking safety on our shores and achieves a vision of an immigration system that works for all by:
- Ensuring a fair immigration process that establishes a roadmap to citizenship for 11 million people while centering family unity and promoting and preserves diversity
- Welcoming immigrants by supporting integration efforts and ensuring access to critical public services
- Creating a just, humane way to uphold immigration laws, including by investing in humane, community-based alternatives to detention and creating scalable consequences for enforcement. This is possible by modernizing the system, ensuring judges have the ability to exercise discretion, and having reasonable, more humane options on the table
- Investing in border policy that protects the rights of communities in the borderlands and ends the mass militarization of the region
- Understanding that we must uphold the rights of all workers and that increasing protections for immigrant workers will lift up all workers—immigrant and American-born alike
The full Roadmap to Freedom Resolution is available here.