National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

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Failure to Act; Failure to Lead: House Leaders Fumble Immigration Debate

September 12, 2006

Washington, DCThe following is a statement by Frank Sharry, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, a non-profit, non-partisan pro-immigration advocacy group.


With today’s immigration “forum” among House GOP leaders, it is clear that workable border security and immigration reform will have to wait until next year.  The GOP in the House has been hijacked by enforcement-only hardliners, who neither make up a majority of the American people, nor even a majority of the Republican Party. 


The only way we can truly get control over illegal immigration and achieve border security is to combine workplace enforcement and border protection measures with a realistic framework for legal immigration.  As it stands now, we have insufficient legal avenues for workers and families and no path to citizenship for the estimated 12 million undocumented workers and families already here.  This is helping to fuel a black market of smugglers and fake document merchants, to the peril of natives and immigrants alike. 


Rather than saber rattling, chest thumping, and ranting, the American people would like to see both parties and both Houses of Congress come together to negotiate a realistic and enforceable policy for immigration.  Sadly, House leaders are producing rhetoric rather than results.  If enacted, their piecemeal proposals will only make a bad situation worse. 

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