Leaders: We Need Immigration Reform Now

May 7, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. — With a bipartisan immigration reform proposal moving in the Senate, leaders across the political spectrum are sending a clear message that we need reform, we need it now, and efforts to derail progress — such as Monday’s “flawed“ Heritage Foundation report — are no match for the overwhelming momentum that will move reform forward.

Momentum for immigration reform continues to grow rapidly. This afternoon, pro-reform conservative activists are meeting with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a member of the “Gang of Eight” that has introduced legislation in the Senate, to discuss reform.

They join a long list of faith, law enforcement and business leaders that continue to emphasize that reform will create jobs, spur innovation and address labor needs on all parts of the jobs spectrum. The following are quotes from leaders in the Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform network:

Steve Case, Chairman and CEO of Revolution LLC and Co-founder of America Online:

“For the United States to retain its lead as the world’s most entrepreneurial nation, it is imperative that we fix our immigration system. I have been pleased to see bipartisan momentum building for the ‘Gang of Eight’ legislation, which I strongly support as I believe it is the smart thing to do politically, the right thing to do morally, and the essential thing to economically.

“I recognize there are opponents to comprehensive reform, but I hope they will be constructive as they raise their concerns. The Heritage report struck me as fundamentally flawed as it focused on the costs of immigration without seriously considering the many benefits of new business startups, job creation, and an increased tax base. In business, if you only measure costs, and not benefits, you are not doing the math correctly. I’m convinced that the benefits of the proposed reforms will more than outweigh the costs. Indeed, from my vantage point, immigration is not just a ‘problem’ we need to solve, but also an ‘opportunity’ we need to seize.”

Dr. Richard Land, President, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:

“Immigration reform is one of the most important humanitarian efforts currently being debated in both houses of Congress. Some are saying our nation cannot afford to embrace these 12 million souls. The United States has been encouraging immigration for over 230 years, and it has always had a net positive benefit for our nation. It will this time as well, as these 12 million hard-working men and women are empowered to do what they came here for in the first place—to provide a better future for themselves and their families. As they prosper, all of America prospers. Like all human beings, they are a resource rather than a burden. I for one am happy to welcome them. I pray our nation will do the same.”

Mark Shurtleff, Member of the Board of Directors of the National Immigration Forum and Republican Former Attorney General of Utah:

“The bipartisan bill now in Congress is a clear sign that our country is moving forward on immigration. We are going beyond the politics that have divided us in the past, and toward a new immigration process that will make our communities safer and stronger. As more than 100 current and former state attorneys general across the country recently noted in letters to Congress, immigration reform can secure our border, keep families together, deal sensibly with people already in the country and improve local public safety. Congress must keep up the momentum and pass broad immigration reform.”

Ali Noorani, Executive Director, National Immigration Forum:

“Across the political spectrum, Americans agree: The time is now for immigration reform. We will not put up with the partisan gamesmanship that has derailed reform efforts in the past. Rather, we need Congress to follow the lead of the American people, continue a respectful dialogue and make a better immigration process the law of the land.

“A fact-based debate in Congress is no small accomplishment. But it is not enough. Congress must pass broad immigration reform that brings aspiring Americans out of the shadows. When immigrants are able to contribute fully to our communities and our economy, all of us will benefit.”