League members study and discuss local, state, and national issues. When consensus is reached, positions are adopted. Today's column addresses the national LWV position on immigration reached after extensive study by League members throughout the United States.

The League of Women Voters believes that immigration policies should promote reunification of immediate families, meet the economic, business and employment needs of the United States; and be responsive to those facing political persecution of humanitarian crises. Provision should also be made for qualified persons to enter the United States on student visas. All persons should receive fair treatment under the law.

The League supports federal immigration law that provides an efficient, expeditious system (with minimal or no backlogs) for legal entry of immigrants into the United States.

To complement these goals, the League supports federal policies to improve economies, education, job opportunities and living conditions in nations with large emigrating populations.

In transition to a reformed system, the League supports provisions for unauthorized immigrants already in the country to earn legal status.

The League supports federal payments to impacted communities to address the financial costs borne by states and local governments with large immigrant populations.

Administration and Enforcement: The League supports due process for all persons, including the right to a fair hearing, right to counsel, rights of appeals and right to humane treatment.

The League also supports programs allowing foreign workers to enter and leave the United States to meet seasonal or sporadic labor needs.

What about unauthorized immigrants already in the United States? In achieving overall policy goals, the League supports a system for unauthorized immigrants already in the country to earn legal status, including citizenship, by paying taxes, learning English, studying civics and meeting other relevant criteria. While policy reforms, including a path to legal status, remain unachieved, the League does not support deporting unauthorized immigrants who have no history of criminal activity.

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan, multi-issue political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase public understanding of major policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. All men and women are invited to join LWV where hands-on work leads to civic improvement. For information about the League, visit the website: www.lwvmontco.org. or send a message to: LWV, PO Box 101, Crawfordsville, IN 47933.