The pro-amnesty nonprofit group United We Stay has created a “Bill of Rights for Undocumented Americans” demanding the country that Americans recognize there are millions already in the country who deserve health care, in-state tuition rates for college and a guarantee of citizenship in the long term.
The list of demands runs 10 items long — the same as the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights — and also calls for an end to arrests and deportations for “all law-abiding undocumented Americans.”
United We Stay is a group of illegal immigrants, first generation Americans and human rights activists pushing for changes to immigration law.
The group’s Marcelino Jose writes: “Since Congress refuses to act, it’s time we take matters into our own hands. Our Undocumented Americans’ Bill of Rights is a good start. Instead of making impregnable border security the beginning and end of all immigration discussions, let’s find a real roadmap forward.”
The list of rights begins with a protest against the terms “illegal” and “alien.” Immigrant-rights advocates say both terms are dehumanizing, and have offered “undocumented workers” or, in the case of United We Stand, “Undocumented Americans,” as their preferred term.
The 10 points include calls for citizenship rights and an immediate deferment of deportations, in-state tuition at public colleges, “wage equality”, medical care, more understanding and assistance for those already in the U.S., and protection against deportation if illegal immigrants report a crime as a witness.
“The issue of border security is simply a delaying technique, a distraction to avoid any real talk of inclusion, to discourage our initiative, to treat us like we don’t matter, that we’re not to be included in the nation’s future prosperity – no matter how hard we work,” the document says.
It continues: “We know we have human rights, even though our very presence is deemed illegal and our existence alien. Now we have our own Bill of Rights and we want it to be the framework for every immigration decision going forward from the local to the national level.”
The list also includes a specific demand for “compelled authorization of birth certificates for our U.S.-born children.” That appears to be pushback against the state of Texas, where officials have ruled that parents must present valid ID to get children’s birth certificates — and have deemed the Mexican government’s Matricula Consular ID card not to be acceptable as primary identification.
The list was preceded by the hope these “rights” would be implemented “into law across the land,” along with the statement: “We are the living embodiment of the American Dream and … we want to see the United States fulfill its historic democratic promise by making these rights a reality.”