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A bipartisan group of Senators has announced a set of immigration reform principles to help guide the impending legislative debate. Ahead of President Obama’s immigration address tomorrow in Las Vegas, today’s agreement is a notable marker on the way to enacting immigration reform in 2013.
The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund, reacting to the bipartisan reform principles:
We are very pleased that a bipartisan group of Senators has announced principles for immigration reform that create a roadmap to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants. This emerging consensus on the primacy of citizenship demonstrates that elections matter, momentum matters, and details matter. On all counts, today’s announcement means it’s ‘game on’ for real immigration reform in 2013.
The political imperatives for both parties to deliver on immigration has opened up the space for bipartisan agreement and for the larger push for reform this year. This is a workable framework that has been signed off on by some of the most influential Republicans in the country. This consensus matters hugely and demonstrates that momentum is on the side of real reform.
The roadmap to citizenship should have reasonable criteria and a reasonable timeframe. The process should be simple and straightforward. It appears that the group is avoiding gimmicks from the past – like the notorious ‘touch-back’ idea – which is important. The specific legislative details that will emanate from these principles will be critical to monitor.
Bottom line, today’s announcement is a welcome course correction from the partisan stalemate of recent years on immigration, while offering another reminder why reform is on its way in 2013.