The United States is long overdue for a more humane and thoughtful approach to immigration. Reforming our immigration policies will not be easy, but that’s no excuse for inaction. It’s long past time for Congress to act on a comprehensive, common-sense solution to our larger systemic problem.
Earl believes that any comprehensive immigration bill must help the 11 million undocumented people by giving them a clear path to citizenship, something that three-quarters of all Americans support. He supports these law-abiding, tax-paying residents of the United States, who are already part of the fabric of American life and society, especially young people who are Americans in every way but for their papers.
It's particularly important to Earl that children who were brought to the United States by their parents are given a chance to achieve permanent resident status. He's an outspoken advocate for keeping our commitment to DREAMers. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, or “DREAM” Act, gives children who came to the U.S. before their 16th birthday a path to citizenship. He believes enacting these changes will not only strengthen the economy, but align our practices with established notions of basic fairness and inclusion, which is a bedrock of American history. Earl also believes in the success of the the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that offers protection from deporation to more than 750,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children. Earl is fighting to keep our commitment to them.
Other major solutions a comprehensive immigration bill must address is the reduction of wait-times for critical immigration cases pertaining to the safety of the applicant. Simplifying and stabilizing an effective guest worker program will protect workers and businesses, and give employers in all business sectors the resources they need to hire a legal workforce.
Special Immigrant Visa Program
It is also important we help eliminate the backlog of the Special Immigrant Visa program (SIV) for Iraqis and Afghans translators that assisted our troops during the war. SIV recipients put their lives on the line for our country. In return, we promised them safety and a new life in the United States.
Immigration rules has a substantial impact on the lives of millions of people inside and outside the United States. Our approach to how we enforce our immigration laws must be humane and thoughtful. ICE raids, detention centers, family separations are a major concern. We must invest in better ways to enforce our immigration laws while treating people with dignity and respect.
In 2002, Earl voted against the formation of ICE and the Department of Homeland Security. It’s become clear that the agency is perpetuating a cycle of inhumane treatment, while profiling and harming the lives of many immigrants in the country and refugees who are seeking to come to the U. S.. He believes we should prioritize the protection of families and our borders in a humane and thoughtful way.
Immigration is important for Oregon
Immigration rules also have a substantial effect on the competitiveness of our agricultural sector. This industry needs a stable and legal workforce to continue providing the food that families depend on. An important aspect of immigration reform will be resolving this debate in farming communities across the country. Earl supports efforts to allow more agricultural workers in the US, which is also supported by a wide range of immigration leaders, labor unions, civil rights organizations, religious groups, employers, and farm workers.
In Oregon, agriculture is a multi-billion industry. Earl supports reforming the H-2A visa program that allows workers into the country to perform temporary or seasonal agricultural work, ensuring that farmers have the employees they need for each season’s crop. It is critical that any reform in this area also includes fair pay for these seasonal workers.
As a longtime champion for LGBTQ equality in our nation’s laws, Earl recognizes that the current immigration system does not include any provisions for same sex couples, so gay and lesbian citizens have no process in which to naturalize their partners and keep families together. Earl is fighting to end this discrimination. He supports legislation that creates a new “permanent partner” category for immigrants so that couples in committed, long-term relationships are afforded the same opportunities as heterosexual couples.
Improve conditions abroad
Earl believes the immigration debate and subsequent solutions should encompass the reasons people are compelled to come to the United States. One of the most effective ways to curb the influx of people emigrating from their own countries is to improve conditions abroad. He passionately supports policies that will advance the quality of life in other countries, not only for humanitarian reasons, but because it assists the United States from a national security and immigration perspective.
For more information regarding Earl's work and views related to Immigration, please contact the office.
Know Your Rights Resources, Parental Rights & More
- AILA: “Know Your Rights” handouts in 7 languages (downloadable)
- AILA: Webpage on Large Scale Enforcement Actions and Raids: https://www.aila.org/raids
- ACLU: Know Your Rights - Immigrants' Rights
- ACLU/Brooklyn Defender Services: We Have Rights - What To Do When Interacting with ICE
- Women Refugee Commission: Parental Rights Toolkit
- AILA: Map of enforcement actions
- ACLU: FAQ on Sanctuary Congregations
- CLASP: A Guide to Creating "Safe Space" Policies for Early Childhood Programs
- CLINIC: Know Your Rights
Guide to DACA renewal:
Who can renew?
A renewal applicant must meet the following criteria:
- Did not leave the U.S. since August 15, 2012, without getting advanced parole beforehand.
- Have resided in the U.S. continuously since the submission and approval of your last DACA request
- Have not been charged with a felony, significant misdemeanor, or multiple smaller misdemeanors. or three or more of any other kind of misdemeanor stemming from three or more separate incidences [note: 2+ minor misdemeanors = one minor misdemeanor if the misdemeanors occurred during the same incident], and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety [note: this is the gang membership part].
When can applicants renew?
- Though President Trump tried to end DACA, two federal courts ordered the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to continue accepting DACA renewal applications. This will continue to be the case until the Supreme Court rules on the matter (likely not to happen until Spring 2020).
- File your DACA renewal as soon as possible. Even if your DACA status doesn’t expire for another year, in the current political climate, it is safer to apply early.
How can applicants renew?
- Find your previous DACA renewal application-- this will give you a starting point to make sure all the information stays consistent between your previous and current application.
- Download the correct application forms from USCIS. You will need to download the most current versions of:
- Form I-821D
- Form I-765
- Form I-765WS
- Form G-1450 [optional]
- Form G-1145 [optional]
- Fill out your forms. If you do not have a copy of your previous DACA renewal application, read the instructions carefully. Fill out your form digitally to ensure legibility. If that is not possible, write with a black ink pen and write as legibly as possible.
- Create a cover letter with a checklist of all the forms.
- A template of the cover letter can be found here. Only include a copy of the Advance Parole stamp if you traveled outside of the U.S. with Advance Parole.
- The filing fee is $495. You may pay by certified check, personal check or money order or even credit card. Make your checks or money orders out to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security” (not “USDHS” or “DHS”). Do not send cash or personal checks. You can purchase money orders at your local U.S. Post Office. You may also pay by credit card by using Form G-1450 and submitting the completed form along with your packet.
- Paperclip the pages (do not staple). The application should be in this order:
1. Cover letter
2. Money order or check or Form G-1450 in the amount of $495.
3. Completed Form G-1145 [optional]
4. Completed Form I-821D
5. Completed Form I-765
6. Completed Form I-756WS
7. Copies of any supporting evidence
- Mail your application in. It is best to send it in using priority shipping that includes a tracking number (such as USPS Priority Mail flat-rate envelopes).
USCIS Chicago Lockbox Facility
P.O. Box 5757
Chicago, IL 60680-5757
Mailing for FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
USCIS Chicago Lockbox Facility
131 S. Dearborn – 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60603-5517
- If you haven’t received a response from USCIS 105 days after submitting your application, try to contact them for an update on your application status.
Additional online resources:
- Step-by-step guide to renewal application with pictures
- Annotated DACA renewal application
- Mental Health for DACA recipients guide
- Knowing your rights and options as a DACA recipient
- Catholic Charities of Portland’s Immigration Legal Services
- CAUSA Oregon’s Immigrant Rights Organization
- Oregon DACA Coalition
- Many schools in Oregon have scholarships and additional resources for DACA recipients. Also, Lewis and Clark University, Portland State University, and Reed College are all sanctuary campuses.