I am encouraged by today’s publication of a bipartisan framework for comprehensive immigration reform by Sens. Charles Schumer and Lindsey Graham. It is a positive step forward in the effort to get reform legislation moving and passed by Congress this year.
Pres. Obama’s support for the framework is also a welcome development as he calls on Congress “to act at the earliest possible opportunity” and pledges “to do everything in [his] power to forge a bipartisan consensus this year.”
The next step is for Sens. Schumer and Graham to translate this blueprint into legislation, and for it to be debated in the Senate Judiciary Committee in April.
The legislation must include measures that require undocumented immigrants to get legal and pay taxes on their way to becoming full citizens, reunite families in a timely fashion, punish unscrupulous employers who break labor and immigration laws, and establish a flexible and orderly legal immigration system – all in the service of transforming our broken immigration system into one that serves our nation’s interests and reflects our finest values.
Now it’s up to Congress and the President to advance legislation that combines these elements. Given how long we have been debating the need for comprehensive immigration reform, the American people want and deserve nothing less.
America’s Voice — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform.