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Senator Menendez Rightly Raises the Stakes of the Immigration Debate

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Decries Anti-Latino “Witch-Hunt,” Calls for Nation to Reclaim “Moral High Ground”

Washington, DC – Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) delivered an important speech on the U.S. Senate floor yesterday, calling for reform to U.S. immigration policies and a renewed emphasis on protecting the constitutional rights of those improperly targeted by recent immigration raids. In his speech, Senator Menendez said that “[t]he legitimate desire to get control over our borders has too often turned into a witch-hunt against Hispanic Americans and other people of color.” The Senator also highlighted the moral stakes of the immigration debate, saying that immigration policy is “more than a legal issue – it becomes a human rights issue, and it is our job to do all we can to secure our country while protecting the dignity of all human beings. If we fail to do so, not only do we blemish ourselves, but we lose the moral high ground to be a beacon of democracy and a leader in human rights around the world.”

Below is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

“Senator Menendez is right to recognize that the immigration issue has evolved from a policy debate to a moral challenge. It is no longer simply about what we do, but who we are. Anti-immigrant extremists have created a climate of fear and hysteria in this country, with dangerous consequences for the prospects of enacting sensible reform and protecting our nation’s most cherished values. America is at its best when ‘They’ become ‘We’ and we become stronger.”

Senator Menendez’s speech, along with audio clips and a press release, are available at: http://menendez.senate.gov/newsroom/record.cfm?id=299036&