Following passage of a comprehensive immigration bill out of the senate Judiciary Committee late Monday, People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas had the following statement:
“This bill provides a ray of light and hope for hardworking, law-abiding immigrants who seek a path to citizenship and the promise of the American dream. It was a victory for the men and women who poured onto the streets of American cities seeking justice, and a victory for bipartisan leadership. The Senate Judiciary Committee demonstrated what is possible when our political leaders cast aside mean-spirited tactics meant to divide our country and work together in good faith to solve a vexing problem.”
“This bill demands compromise from all quarters in the debate over immigration. It's not perfect, but it holds out the hope of finally achieving lasting, positive reform of our broken immigration system.
“It contains many of the most crucial elements of comprehensive reform. It offers citizenship to deserving immigrants. It does not needlessly punish Good Samaritans who provide food and shelter to the needy. And promising students who lack citizenship could put themselves on the path to permanent residency and a good education. I’m proud that People For the American Way supporters and activists poured thousands of messages into Capitol Hill to support the improvements in this bill.
“We still have concerns over portions of the bill, especially regarding the rights of immigrants to due process, and judicial review of their cases. Nevertheless, this bill is an enormous improvement over other proposals, and a rebuke to Senator Frist’s attempt to force a punitive, enforcement-only bill to the Senate floor.
“We hope this spirit of bipartisan debate and compromise will continue as the bill proceeds to the Senate floor. We will not slow our advocacy efforts.”