National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America


President Bush Makes Comprehensive Immigration Reform A Top Domestic Policy Priority

January 23, 2007

Washington, DCThe following statement was issued by Frank Sharry, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, a pro-immigrant advocacy organization in Washington, DC.

Tonight President Bush announced that comprehensive immigration reform will be one of his top four domestic policy priorities for this Congress.  In doing so, the President has gotten the importance of the issue exactly right: the American people hunger for bipartisan leadership that delivers tough, fair, and practical reform this year.  In addition, the architecture of what the President supports is on target.  The President evinces a clear understanding that piecemeal reform is inadequate to the task of fixing our dysfunctional immigration system.

Of course, details matter and if the details are not right, then the endeavor could fail to deliver on its promise of an immigration system anchored in legality and limits, as well as equal protections and fairness for all.  We will be especially sensitive to the specifics on a clear path to eventual citizenship for immigrants already here and those coming in the future, as well as provisions for family immigration and labor protections for immigrant and native workers. 

Overall, though, today is an important advance in the nation’s immigration debate.  We take heart that the President has made immigration reform a top priority, but know that more than good intentions will be needed to produce results.  The President and leaders in Congress must back up broad principles and uplifting rhetoric with decisive action and courageous decisions.  This is the moment of truth.  Nothing is standing in the way of comprehensive immigration reform if our leaders in fact lead.


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