National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America


Immigration Debate Today: House Plays Predictable Politics, While Senate Signals Sensibility

September 21, 2006

Washington, DCThe following is a statement by Angela Kelley, Deputy Director of the National Immigration Forum, a non-profit, non-partisan pro-immigration advocacy group.

In stark contrast to today’s actions by the House of Representatives, Senate leaders in both parties have indicated their intention to reject efforts to attach piecemeal enforcement measures on the pending Homeland Security appropriations bill. From Republican Senators Thad Cochran (MS), Arlen Specter (PA), and Larry Craig (ID) to Democrats Harry Reid (NV) and Dianne Feinstein (CA), leaders are indicating the endgame battle over must-pass spending bills seems likely to exclude narrow enforcement-only immigration measures like those passed today in the House.

We applaud these Senators who are rising to the occasion, standing firm for a comprehensive solution that secures the border while creating a functioning legal immigration framework that will actually make progress on controlling immigration.  The deadly and chaotic immigration status quo is unacceptable, but not beyond repair if leaders like those in the Senate remain steadfast in their support of measures that will actually fix the complex and interrelated problems.

In the remaining days of the Senate session, we expect the bipartisan coalition that courageously stood up for an approach to immigration reform that combines legality with enforcement will continue to hold strong.  Controversial measures like those passed today by the House ought to be rejected because they could delay or derail passing critical spending bills.  They also threaten to make a bad immigration system worse by driving immigrants further underground and delaying constructive reforms that will lead to a rational national immigration policy.


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