Allentown City Council has taken a stand, albeit a somewhat symbolic one, in support of immigration reform by unanimously passing a resolution recommending “federal enactment of rational solutions to fix our broken immigration system” on Wednesday night. The resolution states that between 11 and 14 million undocumented immigrants in the United States regularly contribute to the country, their communities and the economy and yet are denied basic and essential human rights.
The council says that comprehensive immigration reform is both widely supported and a matter of urgency, adding that reform helps families stay together and to admit that deportations cause serious harm while respecting “the rights of all persons regardless of where they come from”.
The National Council of La Raza’s Rafael Collazo, which is regarded as being the largest civil rights and advocacy organization for Latinos in the US, has welcomed the council’s action, saying that he was proud to be there and that the council thanked them for taking the stance they have. Council President Julio Guridy introduced the resolution, slamming the federal government’s failure to introduce comprehensive immigration reform over the course of the last ten years.
Once approved, the resolution is to be sent to state and federal legislators. Guridy took the opportunity to point out that similar resolutions have been passed by similar councils. “This is not just something we made up out of nothing,” he notes. “It’s a movement that’s going on throughout the country, in many places. We want to show the world that we are a progressive city.”