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Vanessa Cárdenas Reacts to New Bipartisan House Immigration Legislation

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Washington, DC – The following is a statement from Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice, reacting to the introduction of The Dignity Act of 2023 by Representatives María Elvira Salazar (R-FL) and Veronica Escobar (D-TX).

“We welcome and commend any serious effort to forge a bipartisan immigration fix and to replace shortsighted band-aid efforts with a comprehensive modernization of our broken immigration system.

By that standard, the new legislation from Reps. Salazar and Escobar is a step forward and an important alternative to the enforcement-only anti-immigrant bills put forward by the House GOP majority. The new legislation includes a set of thoughtful measures that in our initial analysis, would make our immigration system more functional and more humane, while strengthening the American economy. In particular, we are encouraged by the inclusion of provisions to legalize long-settled undocumented populations here; expand legal pathways for people coming; and address processing backlogs.

We do have concerns about some provisions of the legislative package, but also realize this is just a starting point. Before we can craft solutions, lawmakers must come to the table and Reps. Salazar and Escobar and their colleagues are at least opening the dialogue and setting the table. 

Yet we are clear eyed about the legislative realities of a Republican Party, increasingly indistinguishable from far right white nationalist extremists, that controls the House and seems to prefer the politics of a broken immigration system over real solutions. As a result, our focus and questions are as much on the political will of the GOP and the next steps in the legislative process as the text of the bill itself.

We look forward to working with the sponsors and other serious lawmakers to build support for real solutions to our immigration system.”