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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Once Again Makes Immigration a Top Senate Priority

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Leadership from GOP Needed to Make Reform a Reality

Washington – As the 112th Congress kicks into full swing, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) today unveiled his list of the Senate’s top ten legislative priorities.  The list features comprehensive immigration reform, including the DREAM Act and AgJOBS.  Following President Obama’s challenge to Congress last night, all eyes are on the Republican Party to see if some key leaders will come forward and pledge to work with Democrats on this important issue.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “Harry Reid is true to his word as he puts down a marker to advance real immigration reform. He recognizes that fixing the broken immigration system would provide an important foundation for continued economic growth, generate billions of dollars in new revenue, and restore the rule of law and order to a dysfunctional system.  Just as important, it’s the right thing to do and a direct way to reaffirm American values of opportunity and fairness.”  

Reid’s commitment to real immigration reform creates a sharp contrast with the approach of House Republicans, who today launched a series of hearings to outline a plan for the mass deportation of 11 million undocumented immigrants and their loved ones.

Reps. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Elton Gallegly (R-CA), and Steve King (R-IA) are conveniently ignoring the fact that we’ve tried it their way for more than two decades, and the immigration system is more broken than ever.  They are also ignoring the political consequences of their approach, which has alienated the Latino community from the GOP to the advantage of Democrats in 2006, 2008, and 2010.  Senate Majority Leader Reid saw first-hand the importance Latino voters place on immigration reform, winning re-election against anti-immigration zealot Sharron Angle largely due to the support of Latino voters who backed him 90% to 8%.

Said Sharry, “The smartest approach for the GOP—from both a political perspective and what’s good for the nation—would be for Republicans in the Senate to seize the opportunity and work with Senator Reid on the immigration solution that is favored by a majority of Americans.  The choice is clear: let Lamar Smith and Steve King become the face of the GOP for millions of Latino voters, or roll up your sleeves and work on real immigration reform that will benefit all Americans and restore the rule of law.”

 America’s Voice — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform.