The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda is a coalition of thirty groups. The organization has released a platform and a list of demands for immigration reform, outlining what political parties should do to attract Hispanic voters. The demands made for immigration reform are raising some eyebrows and creating some ire, since some critics feel that the demands go too far. Some critics also note that undocumented immigrants should not have demands, since they did not enter the country legally and have therefore already broken the law. Some of the demands of the organization include:
1) Wide-spread immigration reform that allows undocumented immigrants to earn a path to citizenship and legal status. The reform should also allow undocumented immigrants to enter the workforce and keep their families together.
2) Enact the DREAM Act and in the meantime prevent those would qualify from being deported.
3) Stop the local and state enforcement of immigration laws, as seen in Arizona and other states. According to the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, such laws create ill-will between law enforcement and immigrant communities and also promote racial profiling.
4) Reduce the processing times of naturalization and green card applicants.
5) Reduce the immigration caps on Latino countries.
6) Have civilian law enforcement rather than National Guard troops at the US southwest border and stop the building of reinforcements along the border. According to the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, the current efforts at that border amount to a militarization of the border.
7) Keep naturalization fees affordable.
8) Create other options than immigration detention in cases where someone is a low flight risk and not a risk to public safety.
Response to the demands has been swift. Online, comments about the demands often point out that those who come to the US legally do not make demands in many cases. However, others support the demands, noting that undocumented immigrants are already in the country and already contributing to the economy through jobs and job creation. They buy US products from US stores, pay for rent or homes, and make purchases – all of which bolster the US economy. Many also note that some of these immigrants take care of jobs that US-born workers do not want. As a result, some people argue that it is reasonable for undocumented immigrants to make demands, as they are already part of US culture (and in some cases, have been for decades) and deserve some compassion or protection through laws.