Immigration Task Force

Immigration Interview with Sarah Blackwell

This interview with Sarah Blackwell, a renowned Milwaukee immigration attorney, breaks down the myths and misconceptions about immigrants within the United States. The statistic based information emphasizes the global world in which we live today.

Esta entrevista con Sarah Blackwell, un reconocido abogado de inmigración de Milwaukee, rompe los mitos y conceptos erróneos acerca de los inmigrantes en los Estados Unidos. La información estadística base hace hincapié en el mundo global en que vivimos hoy.

Task Force Chair: Dave Sattler - 262.538.0401

What is Reform Immigration For America, and how do I get involved?
Reform Immigration For America is a broad national campaign to fix the immigration system so that our immigration laws actually work to serve America's needs. The immigration system is outdated and badly in need of repairs. The American people, citizens and immigrants alike, deserve a system that works and better reflects our values and traditions that make America special as the land of liberty and opportunity. The Campaign unites labor unions, community groups, faith organizations, civil rights groups, immigrant communities, families, and individuals all over the country.

There are many ways for you to get involved. The easiest way for an organization or an individual to get involved is to sign up at on the web and become a partner in the campaign.

By signing up, you will receive timely updates and action alerts that will maximize the national reach of our friends and allies across the country.
We encourage everyone to also sign up for text alerts by texting "justice" or "justicia" to 69866.

We want to give you the tools to help make your voice heard in Washington. By sending a simple cell phone text message, people in your community can sign up to receive text messages directly from Washington when their phone calls and their voices are most needed to help support immigration reform in Washington.

All you have to do is text "JUSTICE" or "JUSTICIA" to 69866.

Your information will be kept confidential and will not be used for any marketing or advertising purposed. This is a way to connect supporters of reform directly to the advocates, leaders, and politicians fighting for comprehensive immigration reform this year in Washington. We are applying new technologies to democracy to win a victory for our community.

Congressmen and Senators receive ten telephone calls from opponents of immigration reform for every one call they get supporting immigrant communities and reform. It is up to us to change that. Every Member of Congress needs to know how many of us in communities across the country support immigration reform. For our families and our neighbors, we have to make politicians understand that there are more of us who support immigration reform, than those who oppose it.

Our communities need to be involved more than ever to make sure Congress passes and the President signs a comprehensive immigration reform bill. Together, we will win reform that we can all be proud of.



  • Refrain from listening to incendiary sound-bite non-news casting and the hate radio shows: listen instead to in-depth coverage of the whole story
  • Study the immigration issue:  The Devils Highway, Urrea;;;;;
  • Buy fair-trade coffee and other products so workers can keep the profit they make in their own countries:
  • Make police and sheriff departments hold on to their mission to protect and defend their own communities and not to become immigration agents
  • Don’t allow our society to criminalize immigrant workers
  • Help stop enforcement-only legislative initiatives
  • Hold public officials accountable for comprehensive immigration reform during the first 100 days of the new administration

  • Invite your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, women’s group, card club, etc. to sign the FIRM Pledge.  Keep a list of their names and phone numbers as your base for when there is concrete, positive legislation to push.  Send me the signed copies to add to the piles of cards we’re gathering nationally to show public officials that the American people want comprehensive immigration reform 
  • Pray for all immigrants, all public policy makers, all those who serve the needs of immigrants in whatever manner.

Reflections from the border:

  PBS NOW! edition on The Border


Principles for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

America is a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws. Current policies fail on both counts. It is time to reform our laws so that these traditions are strengthened.


The status quo is broken. Current immigration policies leave millions of workers in the shadows, vulnerable to abuse because they lack legal documentation, and unable to fully participate in a country they have helped to build. The mismatch between outdated policies and the economic realities of our country has led to a ballooning unauthorized immigrant population and thousands of deaths at the border.

We need a new approach to managing migration. We can regulate immigration properly if we legalize hardworking, taxpaying immigrants, welcome workers and families in the future within limits, set those limits so that they are realistic and enforceable. We need a “smart border” strategy that screens and inspects people and cargo to keep out security threat, while admitting immigrants and goods that strengthen our nation. Such a strategy will make immigration safe, orderly, and legal instead of deadly, chaotic, and operating outside the bounds of the law.

The solution: a comprehensive approach that makes immigration sense for America and its newcomers


Work permits and a path to citizenship for those here and contributing. As part of a comprehensive reform, we should recognize and reward the hard work of immigrants living in the United States who are kept in legal limbo by restrictive immigration policies. Legalization of the current undocumented population would benefit both hardworking immigrants and their families and established workers and employers, by providing immigrant workers with the same labor protections as their native-born co-workers and stabilizing our labor force.


Expanded family and worker visas. Immigration reform will not be successful until we harmonize public policy with the factors that drive migration: family unity and economic opportunity. A comprehensive reform will create legal channels wide enough so that family members and workers opt for a legal alternative to entering the United States. We need to restructure our family preference system so that newcomers aren’t forced to choose between long separations from their American families or seeking entry without authorization. With respect to worker visas, we need a “break-the-mold” program that provides legal visas, family unity, full labor rights, labor mobility, and a path to permanent residence and citizenship over time.


Smart enforcement. To better enforce immigration laws, we have to make them enforceable. By legalizing those here and legalizing much of the future flow, we will go a long way to restoring the rule of law. However, open borders is neither practical nor desirable. To augment wider legal channels, effective enforcement requires a smart borders regime that screens those who enter efficiently, cracks down on human traffickers, polices the border with professionalism and accountability, imposes penalties in a targeted fashion on unscrupulous employers who exploit workers and undermine law-abiding competitors. It’s the federal government’s responsibility to carry out enforcement and to that end we need to build a fully funded and well- resourced federal immigration infrastructure capable of carrying out the related duties of facilitating admissions and regulating the process in an even-handed and effective manner.


Integrate immigrants fully into American society. Immigrants are more than workers. They are neighbors, fellow members of our society, and an essential part of America’s future. Working with immigrant and ethnic communities, our country needs better strategies and policies to encourage immigrants to learn English, become citizens, participate in the civic life of communities as well as have equitable access to essential services.

Michael Leidel,
Nov 18, 2009, 5:47 PM