February 27, 2018
AAA Offers Principles For Equitable and Effective Immigration Policy Reform
Many anthropologists spend their professional lives studying migration, displacement, immigration, border communities, guest workers, security and refugee issues. Based on their scholarly expertise and the lived experience of both anthropologists and the communities with whom they live and work, the American Anthropological Association offers these principles for equitable and effective immigration policy reform in the US.
US national policies should provide:
- A path to citizenship for all who are living here, contributing to society, and wishing to become citizens. This includes Dreamers and those enrolled in DACA or DAPA, but may also include their parents, minors, undocumented members of mixed households, students, and others.
- Adequate and consistent protections for the integrity of families and family groups throughout the immigration process.
- Equitable opportunities for all, regardless of religion or country of origin, wishing to seek US residency and citizenship.
- Consistent and rigorous measures to prevent discrimination against LGBTQ persons seeking US residency and citizenship, and discrimination against women seeking equal opportunities and rights to work.
- An effective system for dealing with refugee and asylum requests, for the humane treatment of refugees and asylum-seekers while awaiting a hearing, and consistent assurance of due process throughout the hearing process for detention and deportation.
- Clear and consistently enforced protections for guest workers, unaccompanied minors, and other vulnerable populations subject to exploitation or abuse.
- Sensitivity to the human costs of displacement and the division of families, and of deportation to locations where individuals lack family or other support networks.
- Thoughtful and thorough measures to protect the privacy of all individuals and prevent improper use of information recorded as part of the customs, immigration and naturalization process.
- An effective, equitable and consistent border enforcement program, with appropriate oversight and accountability for enforcement actions, and humane treatment of immigrants at our borders.
- Clear and consistently enforced standards preventing state and local authorities from undertaking illegal enforcement practices, including racial profiling.
- Attention to and respect for the interests, values and concerns of border communities.
AAA members stand ready to offer the benefit of their experience and scholarly expertise to all parties to help develop coherent and compassionate policies reflecting these values.