Ineffective & Unjust: Fixing Our Nation's Broken Immigration System

November 23, 2010

Concerned for the security and integrity of our country, the Muslim Public Affairs Council offers this publication as a Muslim American faith-based policy contribution to the national discourse on immigration reform. Our goal is to provide a voice of moral pragmatism.

As Muslim Americans presenting a faith-based perspective to one of our nation’s biggest public policy challenges, we look to the Qur’an for moral guidance. In order to best satisfy the public interest, referred as maslaha in Islamic thought, we believe there are four values guiding our comprehensive immigration reform strategy. They are:

  1. Human Dignity
    One of the key objectives of immigration reform is to ensure that individuals are not to be exploited and must treated humanely and justly – regardless of nationality or legal status.
  2. The Rule of Law
    Breaking the law - such as illegal entry or overstay is wrong - and must be appropriately compensated for. However law enforcement must also be done justly in accordance with Constitutional values and due process. Enforcement should also give first priority to maintaining public safety - such as focusing on violent offenders and rapists - given the importance of human dignity and sanctity of human life.
  3. Fiscal Responsibility
    Applying this to immigration policy, it is our view that all government programs should be as effective and fiscally efficient as possible so as to not become a wasteful burden to taxpayers.
  4. Economic Growth
    Immigration reform - particularly the legalization component - must not harm the job prospects of legal immigrants and U.S. citizens. Those new to this country and using its services should also be expected to economically contribute through education and/or finding employment.

With these values in mind, MPAC approaches the immigration challenge with a comprehensive set of solutions addressing the root causes of our broken system. In particular we focus on three of the most pressing aspects of immigration reform:

  1. Reforming the legal immigration system
  2. Earned Legalization of undocumented individuals and
  3. Developing effective immigration enforcement

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