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Proposal Represents a Serious Effort to Solve the Problem, Bring Republicans to the Table
Washington, DC – A new framework for legislation by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) represents an important step forward in the immigration debate. As the controversy over the Draconian, anti-immigrant law in Arizona continues to build, the initiative by Senate Democratic leaders provides a workable path forward for both parties to come together and enact a lasting federal fix to the problem this year.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
“The new legislative framework from Senate Democrats looks like a serious and sincere effort to advance a real solution to our broken immigration system. We thank Senators Reid, Schumer, and Menendez for showing leadership on the issue.
“This is a centrist proposal that draws on the bipartisan negotiations that have been underway this past year. The intent is to bring Republicans into a process that will result in legislation that can be approved in 2010. We hope and expect that fellow Democrats embrace this legislative effort, Republicans come to the table in good faith negotiations, and the White House provides its backing to ensure that immigration reform becomes law this year.
“While there are some provisions in the proposal that we want to look at further, its positive aspects—from the comprehensive program to register the undocumented and require them to get legal, pay taxes, and study English on their way to becoming full U.S. citizens, to its provisions to reunite families separated by our immigration system—are many. It is a strong proposal that Republicans should take seriously, not dismiss out of hand.
“As the new immigration law in Arizona – and potential copy-cat legislation in at least seven states – demonstrates, states will take matters into their own hands unless Washington can put aside political gamesmanship and solve the problem at the federal level. And as 80 cities around the country gear up for May 1st rallies and marches calling for immigration reform, it’s clear that the issue will remain front and center around the country.
“For the numerous politicians of both parties who blame the Arizona legislation on federal inaction, now is the time to step up to the plate. Congressional leaders of both parties, as well as the President, know that the only way to end illegal immigration, secure the borders, and prevent future ‘Arizona-type’ laws is to pass comprehensive immigration reform. The Senate Democrats’ proposal is a strong step forward; all eyes are on Senate Republicans and the White House to respond.”
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