Immigration policies should be based strongly on human rights. Properly devised immigrant work policies can be of economic benefit to the worker and the host nation.
In California, discussions of immigration mostly center on the Latino population that moves across the U.S - Mexican border. Xenophobic responses, typified by Proposition 187, claimed we "are suffering economic hardship by the presence of illegal aliens..." To the contrary, numerous studies show that immigrants, both documented and undocumented, contribute greatly to the U.S. economy. It has been proven that immigrants stimulate local economies, create jobs, and pay far more in taxes than they receive in government benefits.
Reactionary allegations are popularized to divert discussions away from underlying causes of U.S. economic erosion, such as the permanent decline of labor-intensive jobs and the widening gap between rich and poor. Both of these conditions are caused by depressed wages and working conditions; the destruction of governmental protections that keep labor unions viable; promoting trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA); and the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) which result in exporting manufacturing jobs.
At the same time, global issues such as deterioration of natural resources and the economic and social devastation of Third World Nations by the predatory economic policies of the United States and other developed countries, multinational corporations, WTO, International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and international trade agreements such as NAFTA and CAFTA which serve to drive down commodity prices and to create huge economic debt with huge interest payments are ignored as contributors o human migration. The pressure of some 1.3 million Mexican farm families that have been driven off their land by the combination of NAFTA and the U.S. government subsidies to agribusiness giants has also contributed to immigration.
Discussions of immigration among politicians are currently limited to enforcement against undocumented immigrants and building a massive wall on the U.S-Mexican border, or restarting a guest worker program. The reactionary response to illegal immigration has resulted in an effort to thwart the entry of undocumented immigrants by attempting to deprive them of a living wage; cut them off from medical care, education and other public services; and deprive them of civil and human rights guaranteed to all persons residing in the United States.
Building walls will not stop illegal immigration. People are creative and will find both legal and illegal means to cross the California-Mexico or any border. The most effective tool would be to support the creation of an international labor union establishing enforceable policies including living wage, good working conditions, health benefits, disability insurance, and worker's compensation benefits.
The Green Party is opposed to the creation of a Guest Worker Program as it creates a permanent class of residents who are here for labor, but who are permanently barred from becoming citizens, voting, and unionizing.
The Green Party supports these policies (as advocated by Cesar Chavez) that seek to integrate, rather than alienate, immigrant labor:
We should acknowledge and celebrate the influence of diverse cultures in the mosaic that is the unique California culture
International borders should be recognized as areas of bi-national interdependence. International border areas should be authentic fair-trade zones where people are free to travel across borders for work, shopping or recreation.
Barrier walls between countries are ineffective. Thus, walls along the U.S-Mexican border should be destroyed and their construction should be halted
Reduce the private and public militarization of the U.S.-Mexican border
The Green Party supports the creation of a multinational labor union that establishes consistent policies in each country to ensure a living wage, health benefits and safe working conditions.
The Green Party supports the principles of "fair" trade, rather than "free" trade. Therefore we support the renegotiation of: international trade agreements such as CAFTA and NAFTA and the WTO; the policies of the IMF, World Bank and other international banking institutions; and the terms and conditions of contracts with multinational corporations; and cancellation of the crushing international debt for highly indebted poor countries.
All immigrant workers in the U.S., legal or not, must be subject to U.S. wage, tax and labor laws including workplace health and safety standards as well as worker's compensation, disability and unemployment insurance benefits. Programs involving temporary worker status must include the option of permanent residency for immigrants already in the U.S.
Legalization programs to provide immigrants with the ability to obtain Permanent Residency status should provide information on entry outlining the legalization process timeline and should be fair, simplified, transparent, affordable, and attainable by at most 5 years after entry. Immediate and full legalization should be offered for all immigrants and their families currently resident within the United States.
Immigration quotas based on race, class and ideology should be abandoned for immigration policies that promote fairness, non-discrimination and family reunification. The law must allow immigration for reasons of political exile and refugee status.
Laws that exclude Mexicans should be repealed.
The Green Party supports policies that restore and guarantee basic human rights to all persons residing in the United States. All human rights must apply to all races and ethnicities equally. Taxation without representation must not exist:
We oppose the continuing legislative trend of reducing and/or denying services that are available to citizens and legal immigrants.
We advocate voting rights for permanent residents, as was the law prior to World War.
All immigrants, regardless of status, have the right to receive medical care, education, housing and access to all available public benefits and services.
Interpreters should be available in emergency rooms, hospitals, and health care clinics.
All immigrants, regardless of status have the right to apply for a driver's license without immigration status notification or restriction.
Racial profiling should be ended. The rights of all races and ethnicities in California should be all equal human rights.
The Green Party supports policies that restore and guarantee the civil rights provided for under the Constitution of the United States, which specifically states that the rights apply to all persons residing in the United States. All civil rights must apply to all races and ethnicities equally. There must be no apartheid:
All immigrants, regardless of status, have 1st amendment rights of freedom of speech, and the freedom of assembly and association.
For all civil and criminal hearings, all immigrants have due process rights to be informed of the charges brought against them, to confront their accusers, to have competent legal representation and to have a speedy trial. All immigrants have the right to free interpreter assistance for all legal proceedings. These rights must also apply to the deportation internment and hearing process.
The use of force or torture or other means to compel testimony against one another, or to obtain confessions must be banned.
All immigrants have the right to be secure in their houses, and protected against unreasonable search and seizure.
All immigrants must be protected against arbitrary arrest or detention based on racial or cultural profiling.
All immigrants have the right to be protected against intimidation by public officials or private individuals. Enforcement of immigration laws is the responsibility of the
Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE). Requiring local law enforcement agencies to serve as adjunct immigration agents of the Federal Immigration and Custom Enforcement agency must be banned