SIREN developed this platform to articulate and share our positions on the core issues that affect the ability of immigrants to integrate and participate in American society and to have a greater voice in their social and political life. The platform was developed through the input of SIREN’s staff, board and community members. The purpose of this platform is to highlight the specific changes we are working to bring about in our local communities, our nation, and our world.
One in four Californians is an immigrant, with Santa Clara County having the highest majority immigrant population of any county in the state. As Americans we value work, families, education, and democracy and should be seeking ways to build unity that recognizes and values immigrants.
- Provide culturally and linguistically proficient services in all facets of society
- Increase funding to expand legal services, ESL classes and multi-lingual community education to promote immigrant civic participation
- Provide quality, accessible and affordable immigration legal services
- Recognize and promote immigrant contributions
- Promote democratic electoral systems that will result in immigrants having a voice in their social and political life.
Just Immigration Policies and Civil Rights
Immigrants are a vibrant force in our culture, economy, and society. They come to work, to reunite with family, or to avoid persecution. U.S. policies should fully respect the human and civil rights of all people regardless of immigration status, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, or disabilities.
- Promote immigration reform that offers a path to legalization for the undocumented population, protects workers’ rights, prioritizes family unity, integrates immigrants into American society, and treats immigrants with dignity, respect and equality
- Increase immigrants’ civic participation to achieve long-term policy changes that will greatly improve the quality of immigrant communities
- End violence against immigrants which endangers the well-being of all communities. This includes an immediate halt to discriminatory raids, racial profiling, inhumane treatment at detention centers, and police brutality
- Guarantee due process and the right to a fair trial for all people regardless of immigration status, including the right to appeal.
Affordable and Culturally Appropriate Safety Net Programs
Everyone should be able to access necessary services for their health and well being.
- Ensure quality, equal and affordable health care and social services for all regardless of any status
- Provide culturally competent and sensitive health and social services to every person to promote healthy lifestyles and healthy choices
- Promote alternative medicine as an option to isolated communities including rural and indigenous.
Access to Quality Jobs
Immigrants are critical to the U.S. economy and should be provided with the same worker rights as all workers. Every worker should be respected and treated with dignity. All people have the right to make a decent living, provide for their family and have a quality standard of living.
- Promote economic development that provides quality jobs for all including benefits and a pension
- Ensure freedom from forced labor and unlawful labor practices
- Protect and promote workers rights including workplace organizing
- Create jobs and training programs for immigrants, including ESL learning, vocational and training
- Eliminate discrimination based on race, sex, national origin, immigration status, religion or any other status, in all aspects of work
Quality and Affordable Education
Education is the vehicle by which people can attain the skills necessary to have higher quality of life. Everyone should have access to quality and affordable education and financial assistance that will embrace their culture and language abilities.
- Make education affordable and accessible at all levels of the educational system.
- Protect and increase funding for early childhood and higher education.
- Increase opportunities for low-income and immigrant youth to achieve higher education by addressing inequalities in the educational system.
- Support adult education and working parents by providing affordable child care
- Promote and expand bilingual education that is necessary for the development of immigrant students.
Safe and Affordable Housing
All families deserve to live in healthy housing conditions that are affordable and meet the needs of low-income immigrant families.
- Eliminate housing discrimination based on race, sex, national origin, immigration status, religion or any other status.
- Expand, protect and enforce tenants’ rights
- Preserve and expand affordable and safe housing including transitional housing and homeless shelters
- Promote culturally and linguistically competent housing services
- Create alternative models of housing for low-income immigrants including but not limited to housing co-ops and collectively owned homes.
Healthy and Sustainable Environments
All communities have the right to live in a clean and safe environment.
- Optimize the use of natural resources and promote conscious consumption
- Ensure equal access to green space, renewable energy, safe land and water use, and equal access to affordable public transportation
- Invest in responsible planning and development to promote sustainability and health
- Promote corporate responsibility to ensure community growth and conservation of our world for future generations.
Global Human Rights
As human beings we have the innate right to peace, freedom, and justice. Regardless of location or geographic space, we are all destined to reach our full potential – free of oppression, violence, and abuse.
- Promote human dignity and respect
- Ensure self determination and sovereignty for all peoples
- Support fair international trade, investment and fiscal policies that promote social, political and economic development of developing countries
- Adopt policies and practices that put an end to racial and ethnic profiling and uphold international human rights law
- Hold the international community accountable to support the cause of human rights for all.