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Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: CAP’s Angela Kelley Praises Senate Leaders for Moving Forward on Immigration Legislation
Press Statement

STATEMENT: CAP’s Angela Kelley Praises Senate Leaders for Moving Forward on Immigration Legislation

The following is a statement from Angela M. Kelley, Vice President for Immigration Policy and Advocacy on the presentation of an outline for immigration reform by Senate Democrats:

“Today, we congratulate the Senate Democrats, who have presented a serious outline for immigration reform in the spirit of the framework proposed by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY). We expect this framework to be a launching pad for bipartisan Senate negotiations on an issue propelled back into the national limelight in the wake of the recently passed Arizona law.

Arizona’s enactment of a sweeping crackdown on undocumented immigrants is a game changer. The issue has gone from being on a low simmer to boiling over with no chance of cooling down until Congress acts to reform our broken laws. The stunning breadth of Arizona’s law, which requires police to determine the legal status of anyone the police suspect may be in the United States illegally, underscores the immediate need for a realistic federal solution. For reform to work, it must enhance border security, update legal channels for families and workers, and require undocumented immigrants to register, undergo background checks, pay taxes, and earn the privilege of citizenship.

“This legislative outline is a significant and brave step forward that deserves to be judged on its merits and not on the basis of politics. The moral, economic, and political crisis occurring in Arizona and consuming the rest of the nation underscores the need for leaders to lead us toward responsible and calm negotiations that will produce a final immigration reform bill. To fail to act or to play partisan games leaves open the dangerous possibility that the public’s frustration with the current broken system will escalate and that other states and cities will attempt to copy Arizona’s unconstitutional law.

“The stakes in this debate have never been higher. Arizona makes it clear that this issue transcends partisan politics and demands deliberate action. We call on leaders of both parties and the president to heed the call and negotiate a solution that serves America’s economic and national security interests.”

Angela M. Kelley and Marshall Fitz, Director for Immigration Policy at CAP, are available for comment. To speak with them please contact Raúl Arce-Contreras at 202.478.5318 or [email protected].

Para los medios interesados en entrevistas en español, Vanessa Cárdenas, Directora de Progress 2050, está disponible para dar entrevistas sobre este tema.