Senate to Take up Immigration Bill

June 11, 2013

Adela de la Torre, 213-400-7822, [email protected]

Senate Votes to Take up Immigration Bill

NILC Urges Senate to Pass an Attainable Road to Citizenship

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) commends the Senate for voting today to move forward with consideration of S. 744, the immigration reform bill that creates a road to citizenship for most of the 11 million U.S. residents without documents. NILC Executive Director Marielena Hincapié issued a statement following the Senate vote.

“The Senate’s strong bipartisan vote to debate the bill underscores the national imperative to reform the immigration system so that it benefits our workers, our communities, and our economic security. As the debate moves forward in coming days, support for the bill will fluctuate, based on changes that are made to the measure.

“To be sure, this legislation is far from perfect. The base bill, drafted by the bipartisan ‘Gang of 8’ in the Senate, creates an extraordinarily difficult, lengthy, and expensive legalization process.NILC will work to block amendments by immigration restrictionists that would undermine the core of the reforms by erecting more sky-high roadblocks to citizenship.

“The bill contains many provisions that may cut costs now, but will create a greater long term expense for American communities and economy in the future. Under this bill immigrant pregnant women and children would be denied the supports they need to stay healthy, and high fees could prevent workers from even applying to get on the road to citizenship.

“Citizenship should be determined based on the content of one’s character, not upon the contents of one’s wallet. This bill already makes citizenship dangerously close to unaffordable for too many –immigrants.”

“As President Obama said today at the White House, the road to citizenship will be ‘no cake walk.’”

“Despite these difficult requirements, some senators are likely to propose amendments that would make life even tougher for aspiring citizens, such as denying taxpaying workers on the road to citizenship the same tax credits that all other workers rely upon to make ends meet. This would set a dangerous precedent in our tax code and undermine taxpayer fairness.

“Clearly, opponents would like to make sure many eligible applicants never make it across the finish line. Yet, that result would ensure the failure of the immigration reform program that was designed to bring millions of mothers, fathers, children, and workers out of the shadows. Further, if immigrants are denied access to affordable health care or the ability to spend their hard-earned dollars in their communities, the positive economic gains that could be derived from this legislation also would be undermined.

“Instead of needlessly spending $1 billion on the border fence, senators should consider investing that money to keep 568,000 aspiring citizen children nourished and healthy.”

“NILC will continue to work for a bill that allows for a healthy and productive workforce so that our economy will continue to grow.”