Throughout American history,
immigrants from all over the world have become a part of American society,
as we can see in the entertainment, political, professional, educational, and other fields.
What do we really want in immigration reform?

We have to face the reality that there is a large population of immigrants already here. Humans have been migrating around the world for thousands of years. Walls and harsh policies have never kept people from seeking better opportunities, from the Great Wall of China to the Berlin Wall. If we want to address immigration seriously, we must address the causes that drive people from their homelands and draws them to seek better lives elsewhere.

How can comprehensive immigration reform benefit us all?

The Economic Benefits of Immigration Reform
Study shows legalizing undocumented immigrants would help the economy
Immigration Reform and Job Growth
The Impact of Legalization Then and Now
Immigration Is An Aging Issue
Our response to immigration is a test of our humanity


A wide variety of Americans have stated support for comprehensive immigration reform,
allowing undocumented immigrants in the country a path to residency and citizenship,
including many religious groups, labor leaders, educators, health care providers, police,
and a clear majority of the American pubic.

The Religious Community supports immigrant rights. What does God teach us about the treatment of the strangers in our midst?

"Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
(John 13:34-35)

Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope
Immigration reform is right and just
Evangelicals Hold Immigration Reform Vigils across U.S.
How religion forges global networks

The Labor Community supports immigrant rights. How does denying working rights to immigrants affect all American workers?

"We need an America that guarantees safe workplaces and protects all workers rights,
regardless of race, regardless of gender or ethnicity or nationality or immigration status.
And we will not see that day until we fix the broken immigration system
that invites these grave injustices to occur."
(Arlene Holt Baker, AFL-CIO Executive Vice President)

Immigration Reform Protects All Workers
Immigration Reform Crucial For New Economy

Public Safety officials support immigration reform. How does "enforcement-only" with immigrants affect the safety of our local communities?

Police chiefs across the country say that "enforcement-only" approaches to immigration will increase crime in U.S. cities, not reduce it. Most crimes are solved when others in the community cooperate in investigations. When the people are afraid of the police only because of their immigration status, they avoid the police and do not cooperate in such crimes as homicide and drug trafficking. How does this affect the public safety for all of us?

Speaking of the Arizona law that would require police to profile possible undocumented immigrants,
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck says "This is not a law that increases public safety.
This is a bill that makes it much harder for us to do our jobs. Crime will go up if this becomes law..."

U.S. police chiefs say Arizona immigration law will increase crime
Reporting Crime
True Border Security Requires Reforming Our Broken Immigration Laws (PDF)

A broad segment of the society, including elected officials, legal experts, business leaders, civic organizations, educators, health care professionals, and others support a balanced and fair approach to addressing immigration.

For example, look at who has endorsed The Indiana Compact

What about YOU?

Politicians need to know that their constituencies expect them to uphold the core American standards and values of our society.

Make your voice heard!

* No personal information is collected on this and other course-related pages. You may use these materials in your own personal research and learning, though I'd appreciate your giving me credit.

© Dr. Ken Barger, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, Indiana University Indianapolis, 2011