Thursday, September 16, 2010
Here is the press release issued by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus yesterday:
CONGRESSIONAL HISPANIC CAUCUS (CHC) ANNOUNCES FALL STRATEGY FOR COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM
Plan Includes Swift Passage of ‘DREAM Act,’ Comprehensive Reform Bill in Senate
(Washington, DC) - Today, Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) joined together announcing an aggressive fall strategy to move Comprehensive Immigration Reform toward enactment. The unveiled plan involves four key steps this fall:
1) An immediate up or down Senate vote on the DREAM Act with no amendments. Majority Leader Harry Reid indicated Tuesday this would occur in coming weeks;
2) Lawmakers called on the Senate to support the comprehensive immigration reform legislation that Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) will introduce. House Members previously introduced such legislation (H.R. 4321, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act) and have already collected support of more than 100 co-sponsors;
3) The White House must address the massive toll that deporting 1,100 men, women, and children per day takes on immigrant families. Lawmakers called on the President to cease the deportation of non-criminals and those who pose no threat to the U.S.; and
4) Rolling back a Bush-era interpretation of immigration law that gives state and local police "inherent authority" to enforce civil immigration law. Many state and local police are using this flawed legal analysis to ensnare and deport non-criminals and those who pose no threat to America.
“We enthusiastically endorse Majority Leader Reid’s plan for bringing the DREAM Act to the floor as soon as possible,” said Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. “We have been supporting his attempts to move immigration reform forward all year. As a key champion in Congress for sensible immigration reform, the CHC trusts Leader Reid’s judgment and his strategy for passing the DREAM Act, while simultaneously pushing for comprehensive reform.”
“If we can assist part of our community by enacting the DREAM Act, we will redouble our efforts to ensure working people, families, children, and farm workers are protected within the framework of a comprehensive fix to our immigration laws,” said Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Chair of the CHC’s Immigration Task Force. “We will not give up until we have an immigration system that works for the American people, for immigrants, for employers, for families and for the rule of law.”
Members of the CHC emphasized that reform is all the more critical as the current, flawed policy of deportation is straining law enforcement resources and making communities less safe.
“With our courts and detention centers overwhelmed, each deportation becomes a choice between a hardened, violent criminal whose removal makes our communities safer and a family member, worker or talented student whose presence makes our future brighter,” Velázquez added.