We’re heartened to see that the House Republican leadership has re-joined the debate on immigration reform and is finally moving forward on the issue. Fixing our broken federal immigration system is an urgent national priority that we hope both parties will work hard to achieve. It matters to every Long Islander who would benefit from our country to finally have an accountable system in place. We can’t afford a process that is always on hold until after the next election.
The framework for House principles emphasizes heavy border security, enforcement triggers, stricter enforcement of the E-Verify screening system and limited family-based immigration.
We’re prepared to recognize the Republican statement of principles as a starting point for negotiations. However, the point of immigration reform is to improve our system, not create one that is more burdensome and fails to understand the realities of immigrant communities.
“There are a number of deeply concerning aspects of the principles including the apparent absence of an earned path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants currently here, and the possibility of the offer of legal status being entirely dependent on unrealistic enforcement goals. Barring immigrants from citizenship and creating a permanent underclass is inconsistent with who we are as Americans.
We hope, simply, that this will get better through good-faith negotiations towards legislation. Long Island and America will be better off when every Long Islander and every American, of every origin, has the chance to participate fully and legally in an accountable system.
We remain focused on passing commonsense immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship, and at the same time, increasing pressure on President Obama to use his authority to stop deportations.