Despite positive news out of Maryland from last night’s election results, LIRS was disappointed to see Montana voters approve LR-121, a ballot measure that will restrict the limited access that undocumented immigrants have to public services in the state and require all workers to have their work authorization verified by a costly, time-consuming, and often inaccurate federal database. The law would also require state employees to report any undocumented immigrant who seeks these services.
It is troubling to learn that Montana’s small undocumented immigrant community will face such scrutiny when seeking health screenings for newborns or assistance as victims of crimes. In other states such as Alabama and South Carolina, these measures have proved to be costly and harmful for U.S. citizens and migrant communities alike.
A new Congress and new presidential term present a renewed opportunity for our nation of newcomers to value the contributions of migrants and refugees to the U.S. society and economy. Instead of creating a patchwork of state laws, Montanans and state lawmakers across the country should urge their U.S. senators and representatives to fix our broken immigration system. Congress must pass comprehensive immigration reform that protects family unity, ensures the humane enforcement of immigration laws, protects U.S. citizen and migrant workers, and provides a pathway to earned legal status for undocumented immigrants.
Join LIRS in building this momentum in your community by subscribing to our Stand for Welcome campaign, taking action online, or educating yourself with our Immigration Mythbuster. Share what you learn with your friends and family and encourage them to join you in standing for welcome with migrants and refugees!