Preparing for Comprehensive Immigration Reform: An Earned Pathway to Citizenship & Beyond
It is estimated that 12 million immigrants living in the United States are undocumented. The reality of this situation echoes the need for comprehensive immigration reform. When comprehensive immigration legislation passes, there will be a huge need for access to professional and affordable legal services.
The reality of this need compels CLINIC to prepare its network of almost 200 nonprofit immigration programs. As the nation’s largest network of charitable immigration programs and a mission to expand and enhance the delivery of legal services, increasing and strengthening an infrastructure of charitable legal immigration programs is a high priority for CLINIC.
CLINIC and other nonprofit immigration service networks must be prepared to meet the demand for services that will come with any legislation, especially if an earned path to citizenship is included. To that end, CLINIC created and recently updated a manual to help immigration agencies begin planning and increasing capacity to handle the demands that will accompany sweeping immigration reform.
The manual, Preparing for Comprehensive Immigration Reform: An Earned Pathway to Citizenship and Beyond offers recommendations from “veterans” of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). The manual was created to help charitable immigration agencies increase program capacity and prepare for a large increase in the number of people needing immigration services. Its recommendations are offered to spur thinking and planning by these programs. As IRCA taught us, a “one size fits all” approach cannot succeed since the needs and circumstances of programs vary. It is hoped that the manual will enable programs to develop the policies and practices that are best suited to the circumstances of their programs and communities.
This manual is not intended to be used to create immigration legal service programs. For those interested in learning how to start an immigration legal service program, please refer to Immigration Management: Building Blocks for a Successful Program (“Immigration Management”) by CLINIC, the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), and Immigration and Refugee Services of America.
The manual begins with a summary or check list of recommendations. It then provides an extensive narrative that elaborates on these recommendations.
To download the entire manual, click here.