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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bipartisan Senate Talks on Immigration Reform Must Yield Legislation

This press release comes from our allies at the National Immigration Forum. The National Immigration Forum is the leading immigrant advocacy organization in the country with a mission to advocate for the value of immigrants and immigration to the nation.

For Immediate Release
February 8, 2011

Katherine Vargas (202) 641-5198

Bipartisan Senate Talks on Immigration Reform Must Yield Legislation

Republican House Should Offer Realistic Solutions Not Obstruction

Washington D.C. - Numerous news outlets have reported that Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have resumed their talks on bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform legislation and are reaching out to various conservative and liberal constituencies to gauge support. The following is a statement from Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum:

“We’re encouraged to hear that Senators Graham and Schumer have resumed their bipartisan talks on comprehensive immigration reform legislation, and we support legislation that creates millions of new taxpayers by requiring undocumented immigrants to register, go through background checks, pay taxes, and study English on their way to becoming full U.S. citizens, that protects workers and helps with economic recovery, keeps families together and protects the due process rights of all.

However, Senators Graham and Schumer have been engaged in “talks” for more than two years. We have yet to see the result - in the form of introduced legislation – from these bipartisan talks. While supportive of their efforts, we believe the time for even more talks has passed. The broken immigration system is a persistent national crisis and serious legislation is long overdue. We hope that these “talks” will not amount to what we have seen the last two years: much anticipated legislation, disappointment, and the perpetuation of the broken status quo.

Meanwhile these same outlets report that the chief obstacle to achieving comprehensive immigration reform is a House of Representatives “controlled by anti-immigrant Republicans” who have vowed to block the DREAM Act or any other path to citizenship. The Republican Party has an important choice to make. Who do they want to be the voice of their party on immigration reform? The anti-immigrant position of some Republican members of the House would be electorally deadly for their party’s presidential nominee in 2012. It’s also shameful for some members to refuse to work on solving a persistent national problem to score cheap political points. Speaker John Boehner should play a prominent leadership role and make this a priority for the House of Representatives.

This crisis requires consistent serious leadership from our elected officials, Republican and Democrat, and it is long past time for the President to elucidate his plan for achieving reform. We look forward to working with the President and leadership in both parties on fair, realistic solutions so that we can solve this problem once and for all.”



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