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Fixing our Immigration System: A Proposal from the Sioux County 100

Our experiences and conversations with many of our Anglo and Hispanic neighbors in northwest Iowa convince us that the current set of federal immigration laws is dysfunctional and incremental steps can be taken immediately to improve our current laws, in the absence of comprehensive reform.

We affirm the Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform Statement of Principles which say:

  • We believe all people, regardless of national origin or citizenship status, are made in the "image of God" and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect (Genesis 1:26-27, 9:6).
  • We believe there is an undeniable responsibility to love and show compassion for the stranger among us (Deuteronomy 10:18-19, Leviticus 19:33-34, Matthew 25:31-46).
  • We believe that immigrants are our neighbors, both literally and figuratively, and we are to love our neighbors as ourselves and show mercy to neighbors in need (Leviticus 19:18, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:25-37).
  • We believe in the rule of law, but we also believe that we are to oppose unjust laws and systems that harm and oppress people made in God's image, especially the vulnerable (Isaiah 10:1-4, Jeremiah 7:1-7, Acts 5:29, Romans 13:1-7)
  •  We believe that biblical teachings relative to “justice” must be balanced by the biblical call to “show mercy” (Matthew 23:23)

Our conversations with our Hispanic neighbors in northwest Iowa revealed that the most negative effect of current immigration laws on Hispanic immigrants has been the destructive effects on the unity of their families. This leads us to affirm the central importance of the goal of fostering family unity and the flourishing of families as we seek reform in immigration laws, a goal that we believe can be embraced by persons of good will on both sides of the political aisle.

We support the following three goals:

·      Protect Families and Children -- Reform immigration law to be more “family friendly” – enabling immigrant families to stay together or reunite, and enabling immigrant families to flourish

Possible steps to consider for accomplishing this goal include:

o   Eliminate the caps on visas for family members of legal immigrants to the US in order to facilitate the legal reunification of a husband and wife, or a parent and child

o   Reduce the waiting time for separated families, including elimination of the problem of an immigrant who leaves the US to visit family having to wait an inordinate amount of time (sometimes 6 to 10 years) to be able to return to the US, with no guarantee of re-entry

o   Maintain the constitutional rights of birthright citizenship

o   Revise immigration law to avoid the deportation of parents that effectively abandons their children who are U. S. citizens

o   Reintroduce in Congress a revised version of the Dream Act that addresses some of the perceived deficiencies in the original legislative proposal, and provides the US citizen children of illegal immigrants the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as the children of legal US citizens

·      Grow Small Town Economies -- Expand legal avenues for workers to enter our country and work in a safe and legal manner with their rights and due process fully protected, and for workers who are already contributing to our economy through employment to continue to work while applying for legal status that reflects their contribution to our communities

Possible steps to consider for accomplishing this goal include:

o   Provide a one-time opportunity for illegal immigrants to come forward and earn a path toward permanent legal status by satisfying specific rigorous criteria, to include evidence that they have been employed and have not broken the law before or since their illegal entry

o   Establish a viable “guest worker” program in that will be fair to both American workers and immigrant workers, creating legal avenues for workers and their families to enter our country and work in safety with their rights and due process fully protected

o   Extend Worker visa programs beyond “temporary employees” (as in agriculture) to include “non-seasonal” employees (issuing visas for up to 3 years)

o   Change the procedures by which illegal immigrants with American family members apply for legal status (obtaining a “green card”), allowing a crucial early step to take place in the United States rather than in the immigrant’s home country

o   Institute sufficient punishments for employers who take advantage of the unprotected status of immigrant workers to violate laws regarding wages, benefits and working conditions

·      Practice Smart Law Enforcement Implement smart immigration law enforcement initiatives consistent with maintaining human dignity and respect that includes fostering positive relationships with all local residents while deterring and punishing criminal activity

Possible steps to consider for accomplishing this goal include:

o   Consider ways in which law enforcement officers can engage members of the immigrant community in “non-official” capacities for the purpose of fostering trusting relationships

o   Revise the Secure Communities Program to foster more effectively its purpose of capturing convicted criminals and persons deemed as security threats, without the present unintended consequenceof driving immigrants “deeper into the shadows” and deterring them from helping law enforcement officers combat crime

o   Embed any improved E-Verify system for insuring that immigrants have authorization to work in the US within an established path toward permanent legal status       

Local petition signers

There are currently 814 signatures
Name City Comment
Vonda Vander Berg Sioux Center
Patricia Hansen Orange City
Kayti Pfaffle alton, ia
Todd T. Tracy Orange City
Michelle Vaas Orange City
Monte Tilgner Alton
Mitch Kinsinger Orange City
Julia Schroeder Orange City
Jenna White Orange City
Mark Fuhrman Sioux Center, IA
Cecilia Salazar Alton
Keith Krebs Orange City
Samantha Winn Orange City
Barb Hoekstra Sioux Center
Tanner Smith Sioux Center
Andy Keller Orange City
Sherri Lantinga Sioux Center, IA
Beverly Dickes Sioux Center
Jennifer Angus Orange City
Josh Kuipers Orange City
Travis Hogan Sioux City, IA
Karen Bohm Barker Orange City
Brittany Adams Orange City
Jennifer Rogers Orange City
Anita Vogel Orange City, IA
John Kaericher Orange City
Mark Haverdink Orange City
John Hubers Orange City I hope this will, indeed, become a serious topic of conversation in the upcoming election.
Felipe Silva Orange City
Scott Monsma Orange City
Mary Arteche Orange City, Iowa
Susan Taylor Orange City
Doris DeHoogh Orange City
Kim Van Es Sioux Center
Tamara Fynaardt Alton
Angela Kroeze Visser Orange City
Aaron Aberson Orange City
Eric Arteche Orange City
Jackie Davis Orange City
Rick Clark Orange City
Robert Hubbard Orange City I completely support the goals of this petition.
Jill Schut Sioux Center IA
Lila Simmelink Orange CIty
Janelle Silva Orange City
Ming Chen Lo Rohrer Orange City
Jackie Smallbones Orange City
Noah Adams Orange City
Daniel DeVries Sioux Center, IA
Tressa Dykstra-Van Voorst Hull
Adrianna Noteboom Orange City
Larry Leslie Orange City
Ryan Anderson Orange City, IA
Diane Daniels Storm Lake
Greta Grond Hull
Whitney Owens Sioux Center
Kari Broadway Orange City My God's love and grace knows no political, generational, or ethnic boundaries. AMEN
Gregory M Wright Orange City
Linda Oertel Orange City
Joan Andres Orange City
Heather Sas Sioux Center, IA
Mike Kugler Orange City
Benjamin Langton Orange City
Teri Poppema Hull
Frank Bentrem Orange City, IA
Kiersten Alonna VanWyhe Orange City
Erin Anderson Orange City, IA
Daniel Lynde Sioux City, IA Great non-partisan and logical petition that Republicans, Democrats and Independents should all get behind.
Elisa Hughes Orange City
Heidi Gritters Orange City
Maria Stanton Orange City
Keely Wright Orange City
Brittni Donahue Orange City, IA
Seth Currier Orange City
Ashley Wright Orange City Thank you for getting the conversation started. Let's keep talking, as long as the talking leads us to action!
Bob De Boer Orange City
Maria Carlson Minneapolis, MN
Rob Vande Lune Orange City
Darin Dykstra Maurice
Erin Vande Lune Orange City
Melinda Netten Alton
Jon Opgenorth Orange City
Art Van Riesen Orange city
Marilyn Mouw Sioux Center, IA
Mary G Block Orange City, IA
Michael Yoder Orange City Iowa
Lee Ann Roetman Orange City
Gabby Rock Valley
Dorinda Harald Hospers
Marlon Haverdink Orange City
Arnold Carlson Orange City, IA
Tara Boer Hull
Jon Heie Sioux Center
Sarah Wrather Orange City
Carol Kramer Sioux Center
Carl Erickson Orange City
Kelly Reyes Orange City
Joan Brower Orange City
Matt Drissell Sioux Center
Abby Foreman Sioux Center
Rachel Klocke Orange City
Grace A. Kohnke Orange City
Cindy Harpenau Remsen
Alex Pasker Sioux Center
Corinne Hentges Alton, IA
Charles Veenstra Sioux Center
Barry Brandt Orange City
Harlan VanOort Orange City
James K. Mead Orange City
Vi Block Orange City
Arlys Cauwels Hawarden
Mikyla Dittman Hospers
roleen walgenbach Hospers
Jean T. Ellis Sioux Center
Bonnie De Jong Orange City
Doug Carlson Orange City
Douglas Anderson Orange City
Emma Westerholm Orange City
Fran Muilenburg Orange City
Kara VanDerWerff Orange City
Ryan Dittman Hospers
Beth Davis Orange City
Kae Van Engen Sioux Center, IA
Jonathan R Sabo Orange City, IA
Rachel Kruger Lakefield, MN
Joseph Tolsma Orange City
Phyllis VanderWerff Orange City
Bill Herzog Orange City
Allison Hogan Sioux City I am glad this message is getting out there to the public. They need to know about this. This petition will very much inform the general public. They can then find out how to help fix the immigration problems. Thank you for getting this petition out! My husband and I fully support this petition.
Delainye Woudstra Orange City
Brady Woudstra Orange City
Heidi Bonnema Ireton
Jodi McDonough Orange City
Mary Ohm Orange City
Cheryl Buntsma Orange City Isaiah 58: 6-8 is a beautiful passage in scripture and can bring Joy and Light to all.
Emily Dykstra Sioux City, IA
Laura Heitritter Boyden
Jody Kock Sioux Center
Rein Vanderhill alton
John Fernstrum Orange City
Michele McGill
Kathryn Brogan Orange City
Lynne McMahan Orange City
Bonnie Kaericher Orange City
Frank Bulk Sioux Center
Douglas Klein Rock Valley
Donna Keith Orange City
Bruce Roetman Sioux Center
Joel Westerholm Orange City
Pat VanOort Orange City
Robert Bogdanffy Orange City
Michael Kensak Orange City
Jeff Tolsma Orange City
Julie Andersen Alton
Derek Brower Orange City
Jane Klemesrud Alton
Ron K. De Jong Orange City
Kim Jongerius Orange City
Jack Vogel Orange City
Dallas Apol Sioux Center
Ellen Tolsma Orange City
Kristin McDonald Orange City
Mark De Ruyter Boyden
David Schelhaas Sioux Center IA
Linda Van Wyk Sioux Center
Margareta Maxon Orange City
Jennifer Sabo Orange City
Rachel Te Grootenhuis Orange City
Donna De Weerd Sioux Center
James Vander Velde Rock Valley
Hillary Fuhrman Sioux Center
John J Brogan Orange City
Amber Altena orange city
Nancy Dykstra Hull, IA 51239
Sheryl Taylor Sioux Center
Ryan Vander Lugt Hawarden
Mark Volkers Orange City
Deb Sandbulte Hull, IA
Westley Garcia Orange City
Dave Arnett Orange City
Chris Hausmann Le Mars, IA
Matt Hildreth Larchwood
Anne Junod Larchwood
Susan Carlson Orange City
Kathy Gabel Orange City
Eydie Owens Sioux Center
Heather Josselyn-Cranson Orange City
Pat Vander Pol Rock Valley
Lois Knipp Sioux Center
Anita Cirulis Orange City
John Lee Sioux Center
Laura Konkle-King Sioux Center
Grete Carlson Orange City
Heather Talbot Orange City
Kim Buryanek Hawarden
Ashley Stanislav Orange City
Tom Truesdell Orange City
Laird Edman Orange City
Kristyn Howe Orange City