Senate’s Immigration Proposal ‘A Solid Starting Point’

Jorge Mursuli, vice president of Hispanic Affairs at People For the American Way and national director of Democracia Ahora, had the following comment on today’s announcement of the compromise reached on comprehensive immigration reform by a group of bipartisan senators:

“We congratulate Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and the bipartisan group of senators for reaching an agreement that will allow the Senate to take up the critical issue of comprehensive immigration reform this year.

“With this bill, the senators have acknowledged that our country and our economy need the hard work done by more than 12 million immigrants who currently live and work in the shadows of our society.

“While we have serious concerns with various provisions in the agreement, we do agree with Sen. Kennedy that a solution must be reached this year. This bill provides a solid starting point, but departs radically from America’s immigration tradition of putting family reunification first. This bill also includes a future worker program that is destined for failure. The final bill must include a viable future worker program that offers strong labor protections and a path to permanent residency that would once and for all break the cycle of illegality. The final bill also must contain the due process protections that are the hallmark of our legal system.

“The senators deserve praise for displaying leadership on taking on this issue, and we look forward to working with them on fixing the legislation, and finding real solutions for one of the most important issues facing the country.”

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