National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

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Amid ENLIST Act Debate, Congress Must Keep Eye on Broader Immigration Reform

May 20, 2014

Momentum Builds for Broad Immigration Solutions

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, as part of its deliberations over the National Defense Authorization Act, the House of Representatives' Armed Services Committee will consider an amendment that would enable young undocumented immigrants to serve in the Armed Forces.

If, as expected, the amendment is not included in the final bill, this is not a signal of what's to come for reform. Two momentum-boosting polls released in the past week breathe new life into prospects for broad immigration reform this summer.

In a poll released Wednesday, the Partnership for a New American Economy, Americans for Tax Reform and the Tea Party Express found strong support for immigration reform from an unlikely cadre of Republican primary voters who identify with the Tea Party. In a separate poll released Monday, Politico found 64 percent of Republican respondents want a solution to our broken immigration system.

Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, made the following statement about the momentum for passing broad immigration reform:

"Real immigration reform is too broad to tackle in an amendment to a defense reauthorization bill. Immigration reform that provides stability to our families, communities and economy requires a broader conversation in Congress.

"The two polls released in the last week speak to an unprecedented impetus and urgency for that conversation. Republicans clearly have support to pass commonsense immigration solutions this summer.

"This Congress hasn't seen American voters support any issue as widely as they support immigration reform. Congress must keep its eye on the ball and focus its efforts on getting votes on reform this summer."

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