National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America


Comprehensive Immigration Reform Still On Track As North American Leaders Meet

March 23, 2005

Washington, D.C.Today in Waco Texas, President Bush met with Mexican President Vicente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin.  While their joint news conference focused on a range of issues from trade to security to energy, they were asked by reporters to discuss immigration issues and the progress being made towards immigration reform in the United States.  The following is a statement by Angela Kelley, Deputy Director of the National Immigration Forum, a pro-immigrant advocacy organization in Washington.

President Bush sent a clear signal that comprehensive immigration reform is on track and that it is now in Congress’ hands to introduce and enact legislation.  The game plan is clear; we need to take the current disorganized, deadly, and chaotic immigration system and replace it with a system that regulates immigration in a safe, orderly and legal manner.  This is the only way we can take control of our borders, tighten our security, and allow for the legal flow of commerce, goods and people so vital to the needs of our economy.

All three North American leaders understand that our nations are increasingly interconnected and that trade, cooperation, and commerce amongst the three countries in the “neighborhood” (to use the President’s term) is mutually beneficial.  It is now up to the Congress of the United States to craft the regulatory framework for managing immigration intelligently to the benefit of the United States, first and foremost, but also to the benefit of our neighbors to the North and South.

President Bush has reached out to Senator John McCain of Arizona to craft legislation to reform America’s immigration laws and every indication is that we will see bipartisan legislation to implement the President’s broad reform principles in the coming weeks.  Undoubtedly, the debate over comprehensive immigration reform will start in the Senate, but clearly the President will continue to play a vital role in educating the American people and members of his own party about the need for reform, the principles of his position, and the legislation that is forthcoming.  We call on lawmakers in both houses and in both parties to support a reform proposal that includes effective enforcement, reasonable rules, legal channels, and worker protections.

President Bush said today that his approach to immigration reform is based on common sense. In fact, the President’s approach is common sense for the common good.  Fixing our broken immigration system will be good for our economy, good for our security, good for the American people, good for our communities, and good for the hardworking immigrants coming to America seeking opportunity and a better way of life.

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