FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 13, 2009
Francisco Lopez, Executive Director, 503.269.5694
Erik Sorensen, Communications Director, 503.488.0263
Secretary Napolitano: Comprehensive Immigration Reform Needed To Keep Country Secure, Administration Committed to Reform
Salem, Ore--In a speech before the Center for American Progress, Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano reiterated the Obama Administration's commitment to passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Napolitano, a former border state governor who has a deep understanding of the complexity of immigration issues, has been designated by the President as the administration's point person on immigration reform.
During today's speech, Secretary Napolitano said that she expects to see legislation in early 2010 and that, "The President is committed to this issue because the need for immigration reform is so clear. This administration does not shy away from taking on the big challenges of the 21st century, challenges that have been ignored too long and hurt our families and businesses. When Congress is ready to act, we'll be ready to support them."
In discussing the failed attempt to pass Immigration Reform in 2007, Napolitano said, "I've been dealing hands on with immigration issues since 1993, so trust me: I know a major shift when I see one, and what I have seen makes reform far more attainable this time around." She went on to say that faith and law enforcement leaders are speaking out about the vital need for reform, as well as business and labor leaders.
Napolitano said that the Department of Homeland Security is ready to implement reform saying that, "We've ended a year-long backlog for background checks on applicants for green cards and naturalization. We've expanded the opportunity for a widow to gain legal status here, despite the untimely death of her U.S. citizen spouse. We've launched a new interactive website that allows people to receive information about the status of their immigration cases by email or text message, and we have reduced the time it takes to process those cases."
CAUSA, a partner in the national Reform Immigration FOR America campaign, joins with community organizations and advocates from around the nation in being ready to partner with Secretary Napolitano and the Obama Administration as they push for a humane and just comprehensive immigration reform.
"We are committed to achieving immigration reform that deals with our broken system in a humane and fair way," said Francisco Lopez, Executive Director of CAUSA. "And although Secretary Napolitano continues to express support for enforcement policies that have proven to do more harm than good, she did acknowledge today that it is time to move beyond the failed enforcement-only strategy of the past 10 years and begin the process of fixing the system. CAUSA, our members and allies around the nation and in Oregon continue to be ready to get to work with the President and Congressional leaders to make reform a reality. We look to Congress and the President to get this process underway sooner rather than later."
CAUSA, Oregon's Immigrant Rights Coalition, is a member of the Reform Immigration FOR America coalition and is the largest Latino and Latina civil and human rights and advocacy organization in the Pacific Northwest. We work to defend and advance immigrant rights through coordination with local, state, and national coalitions and allies. For more information, visit www.causaoregon.org
ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN: The Reform Immigration FOR America campaign is a coalition of more than 600 faith, labor, business, progressive, and immigration reform groups that have joined together to get comprehensive immigration reform passed. For more information please visit www.reformimmigrationforamerica.org or www.reformamigratoriaproamerica.org