STATEMENT: CAP President Neera Tanden on the Passage of S.744 in the Senate Judiciary Committee

Washington, D.C. — In response to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s vote to approve S. 744, legislation that will reform immigration policy in the United States, Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:

In a strong 13-to-5 vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee cleared another hurdle in the drive to pass immigration reform legislation. The vote margin is emblematic of the committee proceedings, masterfully led by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), where over 200 amendments were thoughtfully debated, and the majority that passed were with bipartisan support over multiple committee sessions. Advancing smart policy has replaced hurling partisan potshots, and I applaud Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) for their work in moving the ball forward on this issue.

On the merits, the legislation is not perfect, but it is a substantial step forward in overhauling our nation’s immigration policies and creating a road map for our nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants to earn the privilege of citizenship. The Senate bill will grow the economy, stabilize families, and strengthen the middle class. I am hopeful that those priorities will motivate the Senate to move efficiently to pass this bill. The American public continues to support the kind of common-sense reform in S. 744, and it’s in everyone’s best interest—the country at large, future generations, and Congress—to turn this bill into law. There is still work to be done. The bill, as any compromise, has shortcomings. It diminishes the benefits of family immigration and fails to address discrimination against binational same-sex couples, issues that we will continue to improve as the bill goes forward. But last night’s vote was nonetheless a watershed moment in creating a brighter future for our country.

For additional information, please contact Crystal Patterson at 202.478.6350 or cpatterson@americanprogress.org.