WASHINGTON -- Yesterday, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced comprehensive immigration reform legislation in the United States Senate.
"We commend Senator Menendez for his strong leadership and we look forward to working with him and others on this legislation. It is a serious proposal that contains many of the common sense ideas we have espoused for years. The DREAM Act, and AgJOBS, two provisions critical to reform, are contained in their entirety in Menendez’s legislation," said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum and Chair of the Reform Immigration FOR America Campaign.
Senator Menendez’s legislation is a tough, fair, and practical solution that will:
-- Create millions of new taxpayers by requiring undocumented immigrants to register, go through background checks, pay taxes, and study English on their way to becoming full U.S. citizens. This pathway to earned legalization would honor the hard work of immigrants and our tradition as a nation of laws.
-- Enhance our national security by focusing our enforcement and security measures on the most dangerous threats to America.
-- Protect and respect workers and help economic recovery.
-- Promote and respect families by keeping spouses together and children with their parents.
-- Protect the due process rights of all.
Reform Immigration FOR America is ready to work with serious leaders in both parties who want to work together to improve this legislation. Our national immigration crisis is severe. Without comprehensive reform, we will perpetuate a system that abuses American and immigrant workers, needlessly tears families apart, wastes billions of tax dollars so that politicians can sound tough, stifles economic growth, and contributes to the loss of American brain and economic power to foreign competitors.
The voters, and especially Latino voters, are paying attention to how politicians engage on this issue. Poll after poll has indicated that this has become a litmus test issue for this demographic, and every demographic of the electorate want their elected leaders to solve tough national problems. For too long, the Republican Party has tried to have it both ways on immigration reform. They have complained that the problem needs a comprehensive federal solution, while simultaneously refusing to allow federal legislation to move forward. Instead of playing politics with immigration reform as they have for the past two years, they should engage in good faith negotiations with Democratic leadership to improve this bill and finally solve this problem for the American people. This is a national priority.
We can’t wait any longer to fix our broken immigration system. Americans want their leaders to find realistic solutions to our broken system that restore the rule of law and uphold our best values: liberty, opportunity, and fairness for all. This bill is the first step in that direction and it is time for the Senate to act. We’ll be working with Senators from both sides of the aisle who are serious about fixing this problem and who will help us engineer the coalition that gets us to 60 votes on any of these measures.
- adapted from RFIA