Leaders Praise Immigration Reform Framework

This afternoon, a bipartisan group of senators released a framework for broad immigration reform that includes a conditional path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. The Senators’ framework emerges as faith, law enforcement and business leaders who have forged a new consensus on immigrants and America continue to affirm their support for broad immigration reform in 2013.
Brad Bailey, Founder and CEO, Texas Immigration Solution: 
“Texas businesses, across every sector, have a vital interest in immigration reform. We need improved systems to hire the workers we need today and tomorrow. Texas has a unique history with immigration and our future will be tied to finding a workable solution for all our businesses, from high tech and health care to agriculture and hospitality. Texans hope today is a beginning of the journey to that solution.”
Sheriff Mark C. Curran, Jr., Lake County, Illinois:
“I embrace the immigration reform principles that are being suggested today. The sooner we move in the direction of comprehensive immigration reform will mean the sooner we can fix our broken immigration system, and that will strengthen national security and equitably deal with the 12 million undocumented people that are already here.”
Bill Hammond, President and CEO, Texas Association of Business:
“After years of advocating for immigration reform and the benefits it would provide the Texas economy, we are truly at our best position ever for achieving it.  It will take hard work to make sure policymakers know Texans support immigration reform. Our business community and industries in Texas have a real need with respect to our workforce and future; immigrant labor, expertise, capital working side-by-side with those born here will be critical for the future of Texas and the nation.”
Randel K. Johnson, Senior Vice President for Labor, Immigration and Employee Benefits, U.S. Chamber of Commerce:
“We are very pleased with these principles — they align with much of what the Chamber has supported in the past, and we will work with all parties on a bipartisan basis to flesh out the detail and achieve passage in the Senate.”
Dr. Richard Land, President, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:
«Congress does not often exceed my expectations. But these principles, and this demonstration of bipartisanship by our leaders, certainly have. The senators have introduced principles for a bill that has a true chance of passing. I think they sense this is a real opportunity. Not only should we be encouraged but we should understand that this is truly what St. Paul would call a ‘kairos,’ or propitious, moment to be seized. The momentum needs to be used to pass significant and helpful immigration reform.»
Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform:
«Immigration reform is one of the most important steps our country can take to grow America’s economy and preserve our leadership status in the world. I believe this plan is a meaningful step toward fixing our broken immigration system, and I urge Congress to consider the positive economic ramifications of a vibrant guest worker program, more high-skilled visas, and a pathway to earned legal status and citizenship for those already in the country.»
Mark Shurtleff, Member of the Board of Directors of the National Immigration Forum and former Attorney General of Utah:
“This is the moment we have been waiting for — a moment for solutions, bipartisanship and humanity from our nation’s leaders. In this time of partisan rancor, I applaud the Senate for this commonsense set of principles for immigration reform. As a former attorney general, responsible for the safety and security of my state ofUtah, I believe these principles are leading us toward a safer and more prosperousAmerica.”
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Bruce Goldstein, President of Farmworker Justice:
«After years of delay that have harmed farmworkers and their families, we see the potential for positive immigration reform but recognize that much work lies ahead to achieve legislation that respects the people who grow and harvest our fruits and vegetables.  We are pleased that the Senators’ statement of principles specifically recognizes the valuable contributions to the nation by agricultural workers who perform ‘very important and difficult work to maintainAmerica’s food supply while earning subsistence wages.’
Farmworker Justice is committed to immigration reform that empowers farmworkers to improve their inadequate wages and working conditions to bring an end to decades of poverty and abuse.  A roadmap to citizenship and strong and equal labor protections are key to these goals.
In discussing future labor needs, the proposal calls for “strong labor protections” and an opportunity for workers to earn permanent resident immigration status.  These and other critically important safeguards are key to protecting workers, and will help farmworkers improve their wages and working conditions.  The statement of principles offers hope that we can move forward with meaningful discussion about immigration reform and avoid repeating past battles over proposals for harsh agricultural guestworker programs.
Farmworker Justice will continue to monitor developments and assist farmworker organizations as legislators begin to draft bills and work through the many details that must be decided.”
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The Partnership for a New American Economy released the following statement of Co-Chair Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City:
“More than 500 CEOs and mayors from the Partnership for a New American Economy have spent three years making the case that modernizing our immigration system is not only good economics, but also good politics.Four leading Republican Senators and four leading Democratic Senators came together today to break the partisan logjam and bring our antiquated immigration system into a digital economic age.”
The Partnership was founded in 2010 to make the economic case that immigration reform will help grow the economy and create new American jobs. In the past two years, the Partnership has produced series of reports with research showing the economic imperative of reforming our immigration laws. The Partnership’s research shows that:
“It is a new day for immigration.  This is an incredibly promising sign that policymakers have turned a corner on immigration and are ready to work together on the reform our nation needs and the American people want,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR.  “The senators’ blueprint also confirms unequivocally that a roadmap to citizenship must be part of resolving this issue.  We must build on this pivotal moment of constructive bipartisanship and call on other members of Congress to swiftly act to modernize our immigration system and ensure immigrants are fully integrated into our society.”
“NCLR applauds this strong and serious start by the bipartisan group of senators and also the laudable work of our champions on the Hill, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.  NCLR will be working closely with them to ensure that we have the immigration systemAmericadeserves—one that respects all American families,” Murguía added.
MALDEF President and General Counsel, Thomas A. Saenz: 
«MALDEF welcomes the bipartisan framework for immigration reform released by eight United States senators today. The framework provides a useful starting point for fruitful discussion and concrete action on federal immigration reform in 2013. In particular, the recognition of the necessity of providing legal protection and a pathway to citizenship for the millions of immigrants who have lived here and contributed to our economy and society without fully-protected legal status is a critical pillar of reform.
Of course, the details of enacted legislation must arise after vigorous and informed debate and discussion, but the bipartisan framework sets forth basic principles that can form the foundation for much-needed reform. MALDEF looks forward to participating in the debate that will build out the parameters of legislation to be enacted this year. In particular, we will work toward ensuring that adopted reform recognizes and addresses all of the elements of our current immigration system that are at odds with our nation’s constitutional principles, including the continued proliferation of state and local anti-immigrant laws and policies that undermine our nationally-determined policies, enforcement of family unification policies that discriminate against LGBT couples, and the application of a quota system that continues to create widely divergent waiting periods based solely on country of origin for those eligible to immigrate legally.»
The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund:
“NALEO Educational Fund applauds the bipartisan efforts of U.S.Senators who today released their framework for moving comprehensive immigration reform forward.  The principles acknowledge that our nation is struggling as a result of our broken immigration system, and aims to address this issue in a fair and humane manner that brings the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country today out of the shadows.
“We call on U.S. Senators to introduce legislation that will make a pathway to citizenship a reality by ensuring that the legal process for entry into the country is efficient and timely and that the naturalization process remains accessible and affordable to eligible immigrants.  We also ask that new Americans are provided with the support needed to fully integrate into the civic fabric of our society.
“We look forward to working with the U.S. Senate on these measures and are hopeful that we can pass comprehensive immigration reform that fully recognizes the important role that immigrants and their families play in the future growth and success of the nation.”
he Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) warmly welcomed a bipartisan group of senators’ announcement Tuesday outlining an initial «framework» for immigration reform but said it will vigorously work with Congress and the White House to ensure a roadmap to citizenship to keep families together remains truly humane, fair, and practical.
Angelica Salas, executive director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA):
«A key building block to overhauling our nation’s immigration laws has been laid and a movement to create a path to citizenship for millions of unauthorized immigrants living in the US is inching forward for the first time in at least two decades.  We are pleased the Senate is responding to the public’s mandate and a nation’s grave need.
We applaud efforts by the bipartisan group of senators to initiate a serious national dialogue on the benefits of integrating aspiring citizens to the rest of society and reestablish the long-standing American tradition of family unity.
The principles announced today include concepts old and new which will require more refining.  For example, a path to citizenship, according to the outline, would be contingent upon proof of more border enforcement and the creation of an entry-exit program.  This is problematic from the start.  For the past twenty-five years, our nation’s immigration policy has been enforcement-heavy only.  The more than 1,500,369 immigrants deported during the past four years and the skyrocketing funding levels to border protection attest to this trend.  What more proof do lawmakers need that an enforcement program is in place?
On the other hand, the outline strongly asserts any roadmap to citizenship will create and strengthen provisions against racial profiling and excessive use of force on the border and would contain elements that would make it easier for young immigrants and farmworkers to obtain citizenship.
Issues such as detention reform, reuniting family members who have been deported, immigrant integration programs, roll back of divisive and discriminatory enforcement programs such as «Secure Communities» and due process issues in the immigration court system, are integral to real immigration reform and must be addressed in the final analysis.
CHIRLA commits to be an active partner with Congress and the White House to ensure the most commonsense, humane, and fair policy is set in place to keep any more families from being torn apart and to honor our nation’s immigration history, traditions, and values.»
Frank Sharry, Executive Director ofAmerica’s Voice Education Fund:
“We are very pleased that a bipartisan group of Senators has announced principles for immigration reform that create a roadmap to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants.  This emerging consensus on the primacy of citizenship demonstrates that elections matter, momentum matters, and details matter.  On all counts, today’s announcement means it’s ‘game on’ for real immigration reform in 2013.
“The political imperatives for both parties to deliver on immigration has opened up the space for bipartisan agreement and for the larger push for reform this year.  This is a workable framework that has been signed off on by some of the most influential Republicans in the country.  This consensus matters hugely and demonstrates that momentum is on the side of real reform.
“The roadmap to citizenship should have reasonable criteria and a reasonable timeframe.  The process should be simple and straightforward.  It appears that the group is avoiding gimmicks from the past – like the notorious ‘touch-back’ idea – which is important.  The specific legislative details that will emanate from these principles will be critical to monitor.
“Bottom line, today’s announcement is a welcome course correction from the partisan stalemate of recent years on immigration, while offering another reminder why reform is on its way in2013.”
Fair Immigration Reform Movement:
Momentum for immigration reform is surging.  With the Senate announcing a bipartisan framework, the President unveiling his outline in a major address on Tuesday and grassroots group all over the country announcing major actions and events, the stage has been set for passing immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants living and working in our communities.
While there is much work to be done, now more than ever it is important to remember what immigration reform is really about: families.  Families across the country are torn apart by our country’s current patchwork of failed and mismanaged immigration policies.  All over the nation, family members are coming forward to tell their stories of separation and fear.  The moral case for immigration reform is overwhelming and getting louder.
“Family defines this country. Family is what keeps us together. Our immigration policies must keep families together,” said Jennifer Martinez, a young mother of four fromWisconsin. Her husband of 16 years came to theUnited StatesfromMexicoas a child. About a year ago, Jennifer got a call telling her that her husband was in custody and would be deported in three hours. Her six year old threw rocks at the bus as he was deported – without a hearing and having never committed a crime. “Our immigration system is not only broken it is morally bankrupt. Parents and grandparents, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters are being torn apart. We need an immigration system that keeps families together.”
It’s no wonder thatAmerica’s elected leaders are literally racing each other to get in front of this issue.  More are coming forward every day to endorse some kind of path to citizenship for these families – after all 60% of Latino voters know someone who is undocumented.  This is a point that was hammered home in the 2012 election cycle.
We are particularly encouraged that it appears that some Senate Republicans have embraced the concept of a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the principle announced today.  Many key details of the Senate plan remain to be developed or revealed.  We are concerned that trigger mechanisms that condition movement on a path to permanent residency on yet more enforcement in the proposed outline appear to be more tough than fair.  Immense investments in border security have already been made, and net new undocumented migration has dropped to essentially zero so there is no need for a trigger mechanism.  We are also disappointed by the exclusion of the Uniting American Families Act to ensure fair treatment of LGBT families from the bill.
We are looking forward to the detailed plan the President is expected to present tomorrow inLas Vegas. We welcome his leadership which will be essential to finally creating an immigration system which reflects our national values.
“In reality, the border is as safe as it has ever been,” said Maureen Meyer, an expert with WOLA’s Border Security Project. “If we are going to spend more resources on border security, we need to be smarter about where the money is going. We’ve reached a saturation point with the Border Patrol,” said Meyer.
According to WOLA’s recent study Beyond the Border Buildup: Security and Migrants along the U.S.-Mexico Border, the number of migrants apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol at the southern border has plummeted by 61 percent since 2005 to levels not seen since the 1970s. According to the most recently available information, the average Border Patrol agent apprehends only 20 migrants per year, a 40-year low. (See WOLA’s chart of migrant apprehensions per Border Patrol agent over time.)
“Migration has dropped to levels not seen since the Nixon administration. Any additional resources to the Border Patrol will result in diminishing returns,” said Adam Isacson of WOLA’s Border Security Project.
WOLA also found that there is a serious humanitarian crisis along the border: while migration is down, migrant deaths due to dehydration and exposure are on the rise (see WOLA’s chartillustrating this phenomenon).
At the same time, U.S. ports of entry along the border with Mexico—through which most illegal drugs pass—are seriously under-resourced, with long wait times. “In some sectors, our Border Patrol agents go days without action. Meanwhile, our ports of entry are overwhelmed, tying up legitimate commerce and making it difficult to detect drug trafficking,” said Isacson. “Yet during the years that Border Patrol doubled, staffing at the ports of entry rose by only 15 percent.”
WOLA’s Border Security Project experts recently returned from a trip to the south Texasborder; their report is available here. In addition, WOLA’s experts also produce a frequently updated Border Fact Check, which separates rhetoric from reality. For more information about the buildup of the U.S. security presence along the border with Mexico—including the impact of the fivefold increase in the size of the U.S. Border Patrol in the last 20 years, the changing role for U.S. soldiers along the border, and the impact of drones and other high-tech surveillance—see WOLA’s full-length April 2012 report Beyond the Border Buildup.
Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15), Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC):
«For many years, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has pushed for a permanent, legislative solution to our ineffective and unjust immigration system and we believe 2013 will be the year this goal becomes reality.
«The Senate’s blueprint is a positive step toward this important goal and we look forward to reviewing the details with the Senate. Their ‘tough, but fair’ approach provides a good foundation for the legislation that is needed. What is most encouraging about their plan is the earned pathway to citizenship, which is a core tenet of our nine principles of immigration reform. It is our hope that our Republican colleagues in the House will see this as a workable framework and be fully willing to cooperate on common sense solutions that will benefit all Americans.»
SEIU’s International Secretary-Treasurer Eliseo Medina:
“Tomorrow, President Obama will announce his plan for immigration reform, reaffirming his pledge to make this his top legislative priority in 2013. Now comes word that Democrats and Republicans in the Senate are placing on the table their own framework for a legislative package that includes a pathway to citizenship.
“This bipartisan effort shows how much momentum there is for real commonsense immigration reform that sustains our economy and values workers, families and our heritage as a nation of immigrants.
“It’s great to see Senators from both parties working together to accomplish something so important for our nation’s future. Congress is catching up to what the public has supported for a long while now: the nation needs a long-term fix for the immigration system that includes a path to full citizenship for immigrants here without papers. We all understand that a well-functioning immigration system will help grow our economy and raise the wage floor for all workers.
“In a recent bipartisan poll, almost four out of five voters said they back a system that would include earned citizenship, require immigrants to pay taxes, hold employers accountable for hiring legal workers and prevent them from exploiting immigrant labor and improving border security.
“We know that there is still a long way to go and that details will be worked out in coming weeks, but we are very encouraged by the Senate’s push forward. We are also aware that the House is engaging in a similar process, and we look forward to hearing from them as well.”
“It’s up to Congress to get something done. The time is now.”
Archbishop José H. Gomez ofLos Angeles, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration:
“I welcome the introduction of a bipartisan framework to help guide Congress on immigration reform,” Archbishop Gomez said January 28.  “It is an important first step in the process and sets a bipartisan tone.”
The framework released by the “Group of Eight” working group would include a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented in the nation. It also would reduce family backlogs in the immigration system, which requires family members to wait years to reunite with their loved ones.
“It is vital that the framework includes a path to citizenship, so that undocumented immigrants can come out of the shadows and into the light and have a chance to become Americans,” Archbishop Gomez said. “It gives hope to millions of our fellow human beings.”
Archbishop Gomez noted that the framework leaves room for improvement, as it fails to restore due process protections to immigrants lost in the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) or address the root causes of migration, such as the absence of living-wage employment in sending communities or protection for refugees fleeing persecution.
Nevertheless, he pledged the support of the USCCB in pushing sound immigration legislation forward and working with Congress to create an immigration system which respects basic human rights and dignity while also ensuring the integrity of our borders.
“A reformed system can protect human dignity and the homeland at the same time,” he concluded.
In their 2003 pastoral letter, “Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope,” the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) outlined several policy goals for immigration reform, many of which are consistent with the framework outlined today by the U.S. Senate:
•           A path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented in the nation;
•           The protection and enhancement of the family-based immigration system, including the reduction in backlogs and shortening of waiting times for husbands and wives and their families, •          A program which allows low-skilled migrant workers to enter and work in the United States legally and safely and includes appropriate wage and worker protections;
•           The restoration of due process protections for immigrants removed by the 1996 Illegal Immigrant Responsibility Act; and
•           Policies which address the root causes, or push factors, of irregular migration, such as the absence of living wage jobs in sending communities and persecution.
More information can be found at www.justiceforimmigrants.org.
Evangelical Immigration Table leaders:
Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals:
«Now is the time for immigration reform. We’ve settled too long for a broken system, and now the nation is ready for changes that are just, reasonable and compassionate. Let’s make immigration the issue where our political parties can come together and do what is right.»
Stephan Bauman, President and CEO, World Relief:
“We applaud the Senate’s courage and bipartisan nature in proposing a set of principles for immigration reform legislation. The principles include much-needed reforms to our outdated immigration system, and we urge the Senate to pass reforms that include an earned pathway to eventual citizenship, strong support for family unity, and provisions that would facilitate the integration of immigrants into our society in partnership with the faith-based community.  We hope this step forward by the Senate today will lead to a robust and open political process for immigration reform, one we can celebrate within the greater evangelical community. We look forward to working with members in both the Senate and House in coming months to address this critical issue.”
Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association: 
«The leaders of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA), which represents hundreds of local organizations working in immigrant communities throughout the nation, applaud the principles released by Senate leaders working to fix our broken immigration. The faith community is ready to stand by a proposal that respects the dignity of the 11 million men, women and children trapped in our current system, provides a fair integration into our U.S. society, and assures the security and prosperity of our nation. We are ready to work together to get immigration reform passed!»
Reverend Luis Cortés, President, Esperanza: 
«We find ourselves in a defining moment, a moment when people of all backgrounds, political persuasions and religious convictions are acknowledging that we must solve this civil and human rights crisis in our country once and for all. We support this bipartisan effort and the immigration reform principles put forth in the senators’ proposal, and we thank those who are leading the effort for doing their part. May they experience the full support of a nation and a government ready to fix the broken system we have lived with for far too long.»
Robert Gittelson, President, Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform:
«It is encouraging that the set of principles released by this important and influential group of senators is very much in line with the principles that we have long been advocating for them to advance. Their outline is balanced and just. While we acknowledge that the ‘devil is in the details,’ we are optimistic that these reasonable principles will serve as a fair and broad outline that should hopefully lead to solutions that will once and for all solve the very intractable problems inherent in our broken and antiquated immigration system.»
Dr. Richard Land, President, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:
«Congress does not often exceed my expectations. But these principles, and this demonstration of bipartisanship by our leaders, certainly have. The senators have introduced principles for a bill that has a true chance of passing. I think they sense this is a real opportunity. Not only should we be encouraged but we should understand that this is truly what St. Paul would call a ‘kairos,’ or propitious, moment to be seized. The momentum needs to be used to pass significant and helpful immigration reform.»
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference: 
«The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference commends and applauds the principals proposed by United States Senators committed to finding a solution to the immigration crisis. As a member of the Evangelical Immigration Table, the NHCLC stands committed to an outcome that reconciles conviction with compassion, security with integration, all while recognizing the image of God in citizen and immigrant alike. Accordingly, while we continue to engage in prophetic activism, we also continue in our ‘I Was a Stranger’ prayer challenge. For we understand that prayer and activism result in one thing: justice in the name of Jesus!»
Dr. Carl Ruby, Vice President for Student Life, Cedarville University
«What excites me about this moment is the momentum that I see among evangelical university students. All across the country, young evangelicals are rallying around this issue. They see it as an act of living out their faith and honoring Christ’s call to minister to the marginalized. They view it through the lens of civil rights and they don’t want to be on the wrong side of history, as many white evangelicals were during the civil right movement. This is their moment to get an issue right, and that energizes their support for comprehensive immigration reform.»
Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition:
“The National Latino Evangelical Coalition (NaLEC) and its 3,000 congregations are hopeful that the principles for immigration reform laid out in a bipartisan manner provides real hope to the 11 million women, children and men who remain undocumented. This legislation is an honest compromise that can move the nation forward in healthy ways.”
Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman, Liberty Counsel, and Chief Counsel, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:
«I applaud the bipartisan group of Senators working together to reform our broken immigration system. We need to secure our borders, enforce our laws, and provide opportunities for undocumented immigrants to come out of the shadows and participate in the American dream.»
Rev. Jim Wallis, President and CEO, Sojourners:

“A bipartisan group of Senators has spoken: No legislation can be called immigration reform without a roadmap to citizenship. Creating a just and compassionate immigration system that meets the needs of the 21st century won’t happen overnight and it won’t be easy. For years the faith community has been calling for change, and we will be watching every step of the way to ensure that families are protected and the dignity of every one of God’s children is respected. We expect and demand nothing less. For us, this isn’t just a matter of politics, but one of faith and obedience to Jesus’ call in Matthew 25 for his followers to ‘welcome the stranger.’”
Greisa Martinez, a DREAMer fromDallas,TXand member of United We Dream’s National Coordinating Committee said:
“The debate on immigration has kicked into high gear and DREAMers will be at the frontlines of the fight to ensure that immigration reform legislation protects our families and our values.  At this early stage, we are glad to see that Senators from both parties are working together and have created a bipartisan starting point that includes citizenship for DREAMers and our families.
For DREAMers, this is a fight of self-determination.  Today, we celebrate the incredible momentum for reform we are seeing from leaders inWashington.  DREAMers and our community have made our power known to politicians of both parties and we won’t let up.
The time for action on immigration reform has come.  Political leaders must end out-of-control detentions and deportations that have caused too much pain for our families and communities already.  Neither party can afford to delay or shirk their responsibility to the American people to fix our broken immigration system and create a path to citizenship for 11 million Americans without papers.  The details matter and DREAMers will be watching closely and holding Democrats and Republicans accountable.
DREAMers will fight for every DREAMer, parent, and member of our community, demanding that we all have a direct and clear path to citizenship, not one that hinges on lengthy waits in a generation-long line or on further militarizing our border or imposing excessive, costly enforcement measures. We’ll fight for access to health care, higher education, and fair and safe working conditions.  We will stand up for every family, including LGBT families, who deserve the same protections as every other family.
I am proud to stand alongside a broad and diverse movement of immigrant youth who will continue their role of leadership within the immigrant rights movement to build national momentum for policies and laws that protect all families and provide a roadmap to citizenship.”
National lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights organizations, including the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, released a joint statement reiterating the call for a comprehensive immigration policy that ensures fair treatment of LGBT people and families under immigration law.
The full text of the LGBT groups’ joint statement is below:
“We are fully committed to and deeply understand the need for this nation to adopt a humane and effective comprehensive immigration policy which places a premium value on justice, dignity, respect and opportunity.
“Any legislation must include the ability of couples in same-sex relationships to sponsor their spouse or permanent-partner in the same way opposite-sex couples have long been able to under current immigration law.
“We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those striving for and dreaming of a nation that embraces all who come here seeking a better life. We look forward to working with Congress, the White House and every community harmed by our broken immigration system to finally achieve the comprehensive reforms we all so desperately need.”
National Center for Lesbian Rights
Human Rights Campaign
Immigration Equality Action Fund
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund
NationalCenter for Transgender Equality

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