Gutierrez Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill a Great Start, HIAS Says

Posted on Tue, Dec 15, 2009 at 17:17 pm

(New York, NY) -- HIAS, the international migration agency of the American Jewish community, commends Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) for his introduction of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity” (CIR ASAP) today.

“We applaud Representative Gutierrez for his immigration bill, which helps move the
immigration debate to center stage,” says Gideon Aronoff, president and CEO of HIAS. “This legislation reflects the principles that have been promoted by HIAS, including a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S., family reunification, worker protections, effective enforcement, and protection of due process.”

“Solving the problems of undocumented migration is an important national priority,” says Melanie Nezer, HIAS Senior Director for U.S. Programs and Advocacy. “Something needs to be done about the twelve million undocumented individuals living in the shadows; the flow of immigrants across America’s borders that have resulted in thousands of deaths; and the massive backlogs in family immigration visa categories. We believe that final comprehensive immigration reform legislation should address all of these issues.”

With immigration reform a main priority of the White House, the Administration has signaled to Congress that the President expects action on a bill in early 2010. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) are preparing to introduce their own immigration reform bills early next year. Representative Gutierrez’s leadership will help push the debate forward by providing a solid framework for humane reform and by mobilizing immigration advocates across the country to step up their efforts to urge Congress to enact a reform bill in 2010. HIAS will continue to work to ensure that the key principles embodied by Representative Gutierrrez’s bill are included in the law Congress ultimately enacts.