It’s About Time We Had Comprehensive Immigration Reform

By Jessica Jones

America is a nation of immigrants. The very roots of our nation’s birth and development are built on the traditions and cultures of people from different backgrounds. These differences make our country unique and because of these traditions, we owe it to ourselves to make certain the immigration system includes a path to citizenship for aspiring Americans, promotes family reunification and meets the economic, business and employment needs of the U.S.

The League of Women Voters was founded in 1920 after the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote. One of our fundamental goals is to encourage the informed and active participation of citizens in government. Citizenship is the fundamental sign of allegiance to the U.S., our Constitution and our way of life. The League supports a system that allows immigrants currently in our country to obtain legal status by paying taxes, learning English and studying civics. These are fundamental steps to integration in American society, and it is in the interests of current citizens, immigrants and future generations that we build one nation.

In addition, comprehensive immigration reform must provide for timelier reunification for the immediate families of legal immigrants. Due to a backlog in the system, the process of reunification can take years. The League believes that immigration reform must allow families to reunite by clearing up the backlog of outstanding requests. Immigration reform cannot succeed if it ignores the powerful “pull” of family reunification.

Above all, we must have an immigration system where all persons receive fair treatment under the law. Immigrants have helped weave the fabric and identity of our nation. It’s time to help those now living in the shadows to become a part of this great nation. The acceptance and allegiance of more citizens would only work to strengthen our nation and our society.


This post is a part of the YWCA USA’s What Women Want blog carnival about immigration reform. Read all of the posts and join the National Day of Action on June 6.

Jessica Jones is the Grassroots Advocacy Manager at the League of Women Voters. She works with League leaders and members around the country on priority legislative issues at the national level.



Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 months ago

thanks for the article.

Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 months ago

thanks for the article.

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill3 years ago

Why does congress think they have to fix the whole problem in one bill? Why not take one problem at a time? Fix one, make sure that works and then go to the next one.

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown3 years ago

Funny, my ancestors came here from Ireland (one set in the 1760's and the other in the 1840s) and I have no idea if they came here legally or illegally. For all I know my ancestors killed the local constable and fled to this country.

Also, as I have stated before, we used to have almost completely open borders so anyone who wished to come to the U.S. was welcome (well pretty much anyone white) so it is hard to compare. If the immigration laws were as strict as they are now, I doubt if any of our ancestors would have been allowed into this country.

Also, as a veteran, I really don't see how homeless veterans fit into this discussion and I do not like to see people invoke veterans to support their views on issues that have nothing to do with veterans.

Catherine O Neill

If you're not Legal you're Illegal simple as that. My Grandparents came here from Ireland & became citizens Legally. I'm sick & tired of all the bleeding hearts yelling for immigration reform.We have Vets sleeping on the street for God; sake

Lisa Zilli
Lisa Zilli3 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown3 years ago

There is a great article on entitled "5 Scary Myths You Probably Believe About the Economy." It is a comedy site, but this article is based on hard facts. #3 deals with the myths concerning immigrants and the economy. It is worth a look.

janice b.
jan b.3 years ago

The number of Americans that are unemployed is at 11.7 million in May. That doesn't count the under-employed or the ones who are homeless or somehow not counted in these numbers.
The comprehensive immigration reform should be to stop all immigration til the numbers above change because this country has entered a new era where immigration is hurting us. If you are here illegally, return to your home-country and I know life just isn't fair especially if you were brought here not of your own will. Some ought to be glad of their free-education and a chance to go back and rebuild the country they or their parents originated from.

Deborah W.
Deborah W.3 years ago

The current mindset of the free-ticket, quick-fix, with no accountability, responsibility, and no regard for the next guy has eroded a huge chunk of the current populous -- in our own country, and indeed the world. (personal opinion)

This acceptance, combined with the casual concern of the government for its people, seemingly to act only when caught in critical lax oversight, and only then to initiate yet more rules and regulations in a feeble attempt to plug loophole laws is clearly not working. More is not always better.

In Search of Excellence, in my opinion, should be mandatory reading in an attempt to rebirth our basic foundation. Wouldn't hurt to research the Fall of the Roman Empire either ...

Antagonism between the Senate and the Emperor, decline in morals, political corruption, fast expansion of the Empire, constant wars, failing economy, unemplooyment of the working classes, decline in ethics and values, slave labor, natural disasters.

See any parallels here ... scares the crap out of me!

Deborah W.
Deborah W.3 years ago

America has ALWAYS been a nation of immigrants. With the exception of stowaways, they took the time and effort to complete the process according to the law of the land. Upon entry, they went on to work side by side among the other citizens residing here.

There are always consequences to actions ... that goes for illegal actions too. Since these were personal choices they now reap the benefit of their actions.

"Due to a backlog in the system" (would that be Government at every turn, due to inept management and laxity or concern of duty, unaccountability, irresponsibility?) all wrongs should be corrected immediately -- NOT.

Must stop the bleeding, secure borders, then implement enforcement rather than deter the effort, set reasonable and sustainable rules and regulations, separate the wheat from the chaff (don't need more crime, thank you), and then BEGIN to correct.

With the deadwood in Washington, progress is always questionable.

When you choose to deal in-your-face and illegally, those actions too have consequences, many heartwrenching. Still, personal choice, from the beginning.