SUBMITTED STATEMENT — Today marks an important day in our nation’s history and the dreams of 11 million when the S. 744 Immigration Reform bill cleared the Senate with a bipartisan majority of 68-32, including every Democrat and 14 Republicans.
Mi Familia Vota and other leading immigrant advocates have been fighting for many years for a commonsense immigration reform that would remove the shadow of deportation from our hard working immigrant communities. Now is finally the time to pass legislation that fixes our country’s dysfunctional immigration system once and for all. While we know that the bill is far from perfect, we understand that this may be our only chance to pass comprehensive immigration reform. The massive build-up at the Southern border will have serious ramifications for border communities and American taxpayers. Moving forward we shall not compromise on ensuring key principles remain intact on the bill as it moves through the House including keeping families together, assuring workers’ rights, and most importantly ensuring a path to citizenship for 11 million.
“Today is an important day for our community, while the fight for Immigration Reform is not over; we have won one more important battle that takes us yet a step closer to achieving reform,” said Ben Monterroso, Executive Director of Mi Familia Vota. “As the fate of this bill moves into the hands of a Republican-led Congress, we urge the House Leadership to take this opportunity to mend their wrongs with Latinos and move away from ill-informed rhetoric and political partisanship and advance policy that takes into consideration the contributions of immigrants and helps propel our country forward in the right direction.”
The recent Congressional Budget Office analysis helps quantify the economic benefits of the bipartisan Senate bill, demonstrating that the bill would decrease the federal deficit by $175 billion over the next 10-year period. And it would be hugely beneficial for state and local economies. In a 20-year outlook, the CBO estimated that comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship would further decrease the federal deficit by another $700 billion by 2033.
Republicans in the House under Speaker Boehner’s leadership must realize that the American people are on the side of reform and want to see Congress solve this problem. They must follow in the footsteps of the Senate leadership and find a bipartisan solution that will move away from continuing to talk about the problem and instead focus on a solution that makes a pathway to citizenship for millions a reality. Thanks to the support of Immigration Reform champions within the Senate and colleagues on both sides of the aisle willing to provide the necessary votes, there is now even more pressure on the House to get on board and fix our broken immigration system, once and for all.