Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Politics > Latin American governments finalize 11-point plan to present to Congress for U.S. immigration reform

Latin American governments finalize 11-point plan to present to Congress for U.S. immigration reform

LatinaLista — It wasn’t until the 2008 presidential election that most U.S. Americans saw just how much the rest of the world feels they have a say in our internal politics.


During the presidential campaign, a day didn’t go by that a non-U.S. blogger/writer/reporter didn’t publicly weigh in on their choice of U.S. President. At the time, U.S. Americans chalked it up to the diversity of the candidates themselves and the global disapproval of the Bush Administration.

Yet, that’s not the case.

The rest of the world, especially Latin America, has always felt the repercussions of whatever Administration is in power and the laws passed in Congress that dealt with trade, immigration, security, etc. What happens in the United States has always impacted other countries.

So, it’s not surprising that several Latin American countries have banded together to forge a document they plan to present to the U.S. Congress to lobby for 11 specific points they feel need to be included in any immigration reform bill.

From their standpoint, this isn’t meddling in another country’s politics — it’s looking out for the interests of their citizens who just happen to live illegally in the United States.

It was reported today by FrancMex (Mexico-based reporter) that 12 percent of Mexico’s population lives in the United States. Totals from other countries are harder to calculate but countries like Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Belize have seen their citizens escape the poverty and turmoil of their home countries to go to the U.S. in search of that proverbial “better life.”

Yet, with the harsh immigration enforcement by the former administration and the ongoing arrests and deportations that are continually separating families, these Latin American governments feel they have no choice but to craft a document that reflects
“the reality being experienced by the Central American community in the United States.”

So far, four countries (Guatemala, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Ecuador) have signed on to the document which include such points as: the “migratory regularization” of their fellow countrymen who reside in the U.S., permanent residence for agricultural workers and for those who have studied in the United States and family reunification.

Several other countries are reviewing the document and expected to sign on as well. Though it’s not known who will present the document to U.S. lawmakers, the Guatemalan Immigrants’ Coalition, Comigua, is reported to be making plans to lobby for it this month in Washington.

This is the first time these countries have joined together in drafting a regional proposal such as this and so it’s believed that Congress will take this document seriously — and they should.

While I have not seen the full 11 points compiled by these governments, one thing is certain — the U.S. has to work with these countries if they want any immigration reform measure to succeed this time.

That’s not to say that the U.S. has to comply with all their demands but there has to be recognition that illegal immigration is a trade of labor and it is contributing to the economies of both the United States and home countries.

As much as the “immigration restrictionists” like to pretend otherwise, time and time again we have seen that the undocumented workers add to local U.S. economies, and even in some cases, have revitalized rural towns that were on the brink of being ghost towns.

It’s just a fact.

And it’s a fact that these same immigrants are able to send remittances home that keep their hometown economies afloat because their governments just don’t have the money to do it.

Unless Congress understands these dynamics and quits trying to pretend the United States is an autonomous entity but rather a country whose security and prosperity are tied to their neighbors in this hemisphere, uncontrollable illegal immigration will continue — and that’s not good for the United States nor for the struggling countries left behind.

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  • Beast
    January 7, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    The United States does not and will not respect this alleged document demanding rights for those who enter the country illegally. The only thing they have coming, is a life of misery, hardship, and eventual deportation. The American people and it’s government have had enough, so prepare yourself for more deportations, because we do not reward criminals who enter the country illegally. Illegal aliens are a drain on the economy, with their health care, incarceration, government assistance for their anchor babies, and education costs. I waited to enter legally and correctly, because I value the country, it’s laws, and it’s people. Show the same respect and perhaps you will see people’s acceptance of immigrants, not border jumping parasites.

  • Marisa Treviño
    January 8, 2010 at 6:39 am

    Beast, every reason you give about undocumented immigrants being a drain, etc. is just fundamentally wrong and I don’t have time to correct you point by point. I would suggest that you take it upon yourself to educate yourself on the true economic impact of undocumented immigrants on this country. Also, your answer avoids the most basic reality – there are 14 million people here whose situation must be corrected. At this point, it doesn’t matter how they got here or when they got there; they’re here. And being the kind of country that we are who condemns the guerilla tactics of rounding up people and forcing them into detention camps or making them “disappear”, we need to realistically reform our policies to reflect the fact that in this hemisphere the U.S is still the most financially powerful country and is a beacon to people who are less fortunate – otherwise, you wouldn’t be here.

  • cookie
    January 8, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Marisa, how can you deny the real facts of the cost of illegal immigrants in our country? When will these other countries be responsible for their own citizens? They can do it, they just don’t want to because it is cheaper for them to send their poor to us. We can longer accept this situation and we have every right to enforce our immigration laws without being accused of guerilla tactics. It is Latinas like yourself that make me question the loyalty of any Latino to this country.

  • Texan123
    January 8, 2010 at 9:54 am

    None of the pro Amnesty groups offer a way to stop illegal immigration. Granting legal status to all the offenders who have avoided detection and deportation will only encourage more to come. Indeed, the continuing promise of Immigration Reform is like a carrot on a stick to illegal immigrants.
    The Reform Act of 1986 promised enforcement of workplace laws. If the law was adequately enforced, would we have 12 million illegal workers here now?
    The American people no longer believe the promises of the Federal government. They know that illegal immigration is organized crime. They know our government has failed to protect our jobs from foreign nationals. To push demands for legalization during a recession with 10% unemployment is insane. These jobs could easily be freed up for legal immigrants and citizens. Putting Americans back to work should be the primary focus of “our” leaders. Not giving rewards to the people who have lied about who they are to steal American jobs.
    The only idea I see by pro amnesty groups is to open up our borders so more immigrants can take jobs from American citizens and do it legally.
    Please tell me what plan do you have to stop unsustainable immigration from ruining this country?

  • SDOG
    January 8, 2010 at 10:58 am

    wow this is a pretty arrogant move. I firmly believe that we need reform, But attempts to strong arm the US government will not work. Exactly what political capital does San Salvador have on capital hill? Aside from this i believe that far too much of US money is being sent out of the country. Immigrants want to contribute to the US economy and that is fantastic,but sending so much money out of the country does not make this group look good of the US public

  • Evelyn
    January 8, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Study Predicts $1.5 Trillion Increase in GDP if Undocumented Immigrants Are Legalized
    Posted by Andrea Nill, Think Progress on January 7, 2010 at 8:00 AM.
    A new study by University of California at Los Angeles professor Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda suggests that comprehensive immigration reform, which includes an earned path to legalization for undocumented immigrants, could generate at least $1.5 trillion in added U.S. gross domestic product over 10 years. Hinojosa explains the data behind his immense calculation:
    All immigrant workers in this scenario have full labor rights, which results in higher wages — and higher worker productivity—for all workers in industries where large numbers of immigrants are employed. As wage and productivity levels rise, the U.S. economy’s demand for new immigrant workers actually declines over time as the market shrinks for easily exploited, low-wage, low-productivity workers. […]
    The higher earning power of newly legalized workers translates into an increase in net personal income of $30 to $36 billion, which would generate $4.5 to $5.4 billion in additional net tax revenue. Moreover, an increase in personal income of this scale would generate consumer spending sufficient to support 750,000 to 900,000 jobs…
    According to Hinojosa, a mass deportation program often cited by right-wing enforcement-only advocates would actually result in a loss of $2.6 trillion over ten years while a solution that only consists of a temporary worker program that labor unions vehemently oppose andsome moderate Republicans support would only yield $792 billion increase in GDP and also lead to a decrease in wages.

  • Texan123
    January 11, 2010 at 7:51 am

    The study is flawed. It does not consider taking back jobs for legal immigrants and citizens. Legal workers will help increase wages, pay taxes, benefit the economy AND lower unemployment rates.
    Illegal immigrants STEAL social security numbers and jobs from Americans. It is time for Americans to take those jobs back.

  • Juan
    January 11, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Fundamentally the US was build-up by immigrants!. Regarding bloggers that say that immigrants steal social security, this immigrants are the ones that work and pay taxes but are the ones that don’t report taxes and their money never comes back to them because they don’t get a tax refund!, this is a win win situation for the government (immigrants work and pay taxes and government gets to keep 100% profit), who keeps this 12 million un-refunded taxes?. All bloggers that fear that immigrants are taking the citizens jobs should be more worry about the corporations taking the jobs oversees!. When have you seen a product that states made in ‘US’? Right, you have not! because all the goods have a stamp that reads made in ‘china’.

  • cpokie
    January 11, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    This country was partially build by LEGAL immigrants and American citizens, not illegal immigrants.
    Many of these illegals who do report taxes get them all back because of their low wages and many dependants so they virtually pay no income taxes.
    As for not getting any SS taxes back consider it as helping to pay for their many social costs in this country.
    We should be concerned about Americans losing jobs to oursourcing AND the usage of illegal labor in this country. They are both killing us.

  • chuck
    January 12, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    I’m looking forward to reading the 11-point recommendations for the U.S. from Latin America. First, however, I have to put the finishing touches on my 12-point plan for equal distribution of Mexican wealth and my 7 recommendations for legal electons in Honduras. I have some thoughts on financial reform in Argentina and crime prevention in Brazil, too.

  • Aaron
    January 21, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    “As much as the “immigration restrictionists” like to pretend otherwise, time and time again we have seen that the undocumented workers add to local U.S. economies, and even in some cases, have revitalized rural towns that were on the brink of being ghost towns.”
    Hmm, I guess that already permitting millions of foreigners into this country on visas isn’t sufficient proof that this country is already generous with immigration. This fact alone is enough proof to the majority of Americans that the claims of a restrictionist America are absolutely lies. This country would have no trouble filling towns with new legal immigrants, on our terms. We’re not so desperate that we have to cave to the outrageous demands of foreigners to make this country great. Don’t hold your breath waiting for America to kowtow to those who break our laws or a minority that acts like it rules this country already.

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