Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Statement on Immigration

The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF-US) recognizes that the United States is a nation of immigrants from around the world whose many contributions have enriched our lives and communities from the nation's beginning.

WILPF members march for immigrants workers' rights in April 2006

WILPF's first president, Jane Addams, founded and directed Hull House in Chicago for newly arrived immigrants "to provide a center for a higher civic and social life." An immigrant's successful integration will always depend on the wisdom and receptivity of policy-makers and the willingness of communities to promote diversity and assist the transition of newcomers. Such efforts should be guided by a commitment to equal protection, along with equal access to healthcare, employment, education and legal assistance for all residents.

The Women's International League for Peace & Freedom/US Section:

  • supports the development of national and international policies to address the underlying causes of global migration that disrupt cultures and local economies. We call for change in a system that allows industry to poison people, communities and the natural commons, while denying people's right to a secure and decent livelihood. We call for the end of corporations that exploit low-wage, no-benefits immigrant labor in a free-market system. We call for all workers' democratic right to travel, work and organize for better conditions.
  • recognizes the contribution of immigrants and refugees to our country and advocates for their human and constitutional rights. We oppose those voices that fan the fear and hatred of these newcomers to our land.
  • supports local, state, and national grassroots organizing for immigrant rights.
  • supports effective networking among governments at every level and community-based organizations toward the effective delivery to immigrants of needed human services without regard to documentation or legal status.
  • opposes the policies and trends, some in place since September 11, 2001, that criminalize immigrants and militarize immigration law enforcement.
  • opposes construction of the 700-mile separation wall along the Mexico-US border.
  • supports public policy measures that allow undocumented immigrants living and working in the United States to become lawful residents and citizens of this country.

The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom has always seen human rights and social justice for all as essential conditions for peace within and among nations. For additional information about the organization, its work and principles, see WILPF's website, www.wilpf.org .

Read the background piece: WILPF and Immigration Legislation

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