Amended in Senate April 8, 2013

Senate Joint ResolutionNo. 8

Introduced by Senator Correa

(Coauthors: Senators Beall,begin insert Berryhill,end insert Calderon, Cannella, De León,begin insert Emmerson, Fuller, Gaines,end insert Hernandez,begin insert Huff,end insert Lara, Lieu, Padilla, Wolk, and Yee)

(Coauthors: Assembly Members Bonilla, Garcia, Perea, and V. Manuel Pérez)

March 18, 2013

Senate Joint Resolution No. 8—Relative to immigration.


SJR 8, as amended, Correa. Immigration.

This measure would specify principles for repairing the nation’sbegin insert historicallyend insert broken immigration system, and would urge Congress and the President of the United States to take a comprehensive and workable approach to improving the nation’s immigration system using those principles.

Fiscal committee: no.

P1    1WHEREAS, This country was built by immigrants seeking a
2better life; and

3WHEREAS, Estimates suggest there are 11 million
4undocumented immigrants living in the shadows in the United
5States, including millions of children brought to this country
6undocumented who have grown up here and call the United States
7homebegin insert, suffering from the dysfunctional immigration policyend insert; and

8WHEREAS, A logical and streamlined path to citizenship for
9begin deletethese residentsend deletebegin insert individualsend insertbegin insert after they gain legal statusend insert would
P2    1stimulate the economy by allowing them to get college degrees
2and driver’s licenses, buy homes, start new companies, and create
3legal, tax-paying jobs, affording them a chance at the American
4Dream; and

5WHEREAS, The United States Congress last enacted major
6immigration legislation more than 25 years ago; and

7WHEREAS, Since that time, fragmented attempts at immigration
8reform have failed to create rational and effective systems needed
9to maintain international competitiveness. Whether in an industry
10like agriculture, which requires large numbers of workers able to
11perform physically demanding tasks, or in technology or health
12care, where the demand for employees with advanced degrees is
13projected to exceed supply within the next five years, immigration
14policy must be designed to respond to emerging labor needs in all
15sectors of the United States economy; and

16WHEREAS, Our national interests and security are not served
17by our outdated, inefficient, and slow-moving immigration system.
18Patchwork attempts to mend its deficiencies undermine our
19potential for prosperity and leave us vulnerable and unable to meet
20the needs of the modern world; and

21WHEREAS, To help our country recover from the financial
22crisis, labor mobility is crucial to our economic prosperity. Yet
23our rigid, outdated immigration policies are making it difficult for
24our companies and our nation to compete. Information released in
25a study by the University of California, Los Angeles, stated that
26legalizing the status of undocumented immigrants working and
27living in the United States would create around $1.5 trillion in
28additional gross domestic product growth over the next 10 years
29and increase wages for all workers. A study done by the University
30of California, Davis, indicates that the last large wave of
31immigrants, from 1990 to 2007, raised the income of the
32native-born American worker by an average of $5,000; and

33WHEREAS, California has the largest share of immigrants in
34the countrybegin delete, and together they make up almost half our population.
35Approximately 11 percent of workers in California are
36undocumented immigrantsend delete
. They are a vital and productive part
37of our state’s economy and are active in a variety of industries,
38including technology, biotech, hospitality, agriculture, construction,
39services, transportation, and textiles. They also represent a large
P3    1share of our new small business owners and create economic
2prosperity and needed jobs for everyone; and

3WHEREAS, Keeping these families, business owners, and hard
4workers in the shadows of society serves no one; and

5WHEREAS, Our state, for economic, social, health, security,
6and prosperity reasons, must support policies that allow
7begin delete undocumented immigrantsend deletebegin insert individualsend insert to become legal and
8enfranchised participants in our society and economy; and

9WHEREAS, Comprehensive immigration reform should include
10a reasonable and timely path to citizenship for undocumented
11immigrants living and working in the United States already. It
12should includebegin delete health andend delete comprehensive background checks, and
13require demonstrated proficiency in English and payment of all
14current and back taxes, and should have the flexibility to respond
15to emerging business trends; and

16WHEREAS, The Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan
17research group in Washington, D.C., estimated that in 2012 the
18federal government spent $18 billion on immigration enforcement
19and that the number of United States Border Patrol agents has
20doubled since 2004; and

21WHEREAS, Increased enforcement has given the federal
22government the ability to prioritize the deportation of lawbreakers
23and dangerous individuals and to ensure our border’s security.
24Nevertheless, this enforcement should not be done in an inhumane
25way; and

26WHEREAS, Immigration enforcement should continue to focus
27on criminals, not on hardworking immigrant families, and not at
28the expense of efficient trade with two of our top three economic
29partners; and

30WHEREAS, The United States loses large numbers of necessary,
31highly skilled workers due to the lengthy and complicated
32processes currently in place to get or keep a legal residency option;

34WHEREAS, Reform should also include an expedited process
35for those residing abroad and applying for legal visas. Additionally,
36reform should offer permanent residency opportunities to
37international students in American universities who are highly
38trained and in high demand, and in so doing avoid an intellectual
39vacuum after their graduation; and

P4    1WHEREAS, This reform shouldbegin delete also include a way to help
2families remain together throughout the lengthy bureaucratic
3processend delete
begin insert recognize the societal and cultural benefits of keeping the
4family unit intactend insert
. The system should take into account special
5circumstances surrounding candidates for probationary legal status,
6such as those of minors brought to the country as children or
7workers whose labor is essential to maintain our country’s
8competitiveness; now, therefore, be it

9Resolved by the Senate and the Assembly of the State of
10California, jointly,
That the Legislature urges the President and
11the Congress of the United States to take a comprehensive and
12workable approach to solving our nation’sbegin insert historicallyend insert broken
13immigration system, using the principles described in this
14resolution; and be it further

15Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of
16this resolution to the President and the Vice President of the United
17States, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to the
18Majority Leader of the Senate, and to each Senator and
19Representative from California in the Congress of the United