On Immigration, Senate Has Opportunity to Get It done And Get It Done Right
February 28, 2007
Washington, DC – Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on comprehensive immigration reform with two Bush Administration Cabinet Secretaries. This signals the first step in the expected debate over immigration reform, an important piece of unfinished business leftover from the last Congress. The following is a statement from Angela Kelley, Deputy Director of the National Immigration Forum, a pro-immigrant advocacy organization in Washington.
The clock is ticking on comprehensive immigration reform. Already two months into the year, we call on the Senate to accelerate the progress towards crafting, debating, and passing bipartisan legislation. The presidential primaries are on the horizon, so time is of the essence. As political stakes get higher, the temptation to make politically expedient but shortsighted policy tradeoffs gets higher and higher.
At the same time, the Senate must get immigration reform right from the standpoint of American workers, our economy, our security, our communities, and finally for the immigrants themselves, both the ones already here and those who will come in the future. Fairness and balance, including a path towards permanent residency and citizenship, family unification, smart and targeted enforcement, and integration of immigrants into our nation will be priorities we will keep a keen eye on as this debate moves forward.
The policy approaches are fairly clear having gone through this process in the Senate last year. The demand for action from states, communities, and voters is also clear. The Senate has started the ball rolling and we hope this is followed shortly by legislation. Success will require the White House and the Leadership in both Houses to roll up their sleeves and push this legislation through any logjams ahead. But they can get this done, and there should be no excuses.