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On Tuesday morning, immigrant rights groups unveiled the Migrant Justice Platform, a unity blueprint for executive and legislative actions on immigration from grassroots voices nationwide. The Migrant Justice Platform presents a vision and principles to depart from the failed “comprehensive immigration reform” strategy of previous administrations and calls for concrete actions in three thematic areas: at home, on the southern border, and abroad.
“This is about re-envisioning how we think about immigration, it’s an exercise to expand our political imagination,” said Erika Andiola, Advocacy Director at RAICES, who serves as Chair of the Blue Ribbon Commission. “This platform is a roadmap for a conversation that needs to happen, a conversation that must include grassroots groups, center the rights of working people, and see the global issue for what it is. It’s the beginning of a much-needed policy conversation.”
“As we confront the harshness of this moment, we must also shine a light on what is possible and what is necessary to move us forward,” said Opal Tometi, Blue Ribbon Commission member, former Executive Director of Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) and co-founder of Black Lives Matter. “There is no single bill that will resolve this country’s racism against immigrants and refugees, but we can start by making clear how much our political representatives have not done, and how much they can still do.”
Background: In June of 2019, a Blue Ribbon Commission comprised of 20 individuals, from various grassroots organizations, backgrounds, and communities, convened to launch the development of a policy blueprint for use by the next administration to immediately repair harms and reverse failures caused by previous administrations. The Blue Ribbon group was initially convened by Texas-based RAICES and the National Day Laborers Organizing Network (NDLON). The result is the Migrant Justice Platform, a roadmap of Executive and Legislative actions from grassroots voices across the United States and abroad that parts ways from the “single-bill” strategy that has defined immigration politics for two decades.
The platform includes concrete policy recommendations to ensure undocumented, TPS, DED, and DACA reciepients are granted immediate relief and work authorization without fear of persecution; a centering of workers rights within immigration policy; a new policy approach to the borderlands that includes demilitarization and restructuring of border agencies; and a rethinking of the U.S. impact and role abroad. It is a unity blueprint intended as a launching point for an open-source effort that centers grassroots voices on various aspects of immigration reform.