Statement by Angela M. Kelley, Vice President for Immigration Policy and Advocacy at the Center for American Progress, on comprehensive immigration reform legislation introduced in the Senate by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ).
"Menendez Advances the (Real) Debate on Immigration Reform
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) is to be commended for advancing the immigration debate on Capitol Hill by introducing robust comprehensive immigration legislation that tackles an important and complex issue facing the nation today.
This is the first Senate comprehensive immigration bill since 2007, and it is a serious proposal for a sober conversation about how to reform our immigration system. It contrasts sharply with the political gamesmanship that has overtaken the immigration issue this year.
We are long overdue for a working immigration program that secures our borders, goes after employers who take advantage of undocumented workers, and creates a process to legalize current undocumented immigrants who meet strict eligibility requirements. A modernized system must update visa programs so that needed workers and close family members can be admitted.
Such a program would aid our economy and provide fairness to taxpayers, job creators, and families that now get hopelessly entangled in the dysfunctional immigration system.
The problems ailing our country, including this one, don’t stop and start on a congressional calendar. Our nation’s challenges are constant, and the need for leadership is relentless. We applaud Sen. Menendez for his tireless commitment to reform and hope that senators from both sides of the aisle lock arms rather than raise voices in pursuit of a solution for all Americans.
Perhaps Congress can follow the lead of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who are scheduled to testify today before the House Immigration Subcommittee on the economic benefits that would be derived from comprehensive immigration reform."