HIAS Disappointed in Collapse of Senate Immigration Reform Process; Calls on White House and Congress to Cross the Finish Line a

Posted on Fri, Jun 08, 2007 at 10:40 am

Statement From: Gideon Aronoff, President and CEO

Last night, the United States Senate failed to produce a comprehensive immigration reform bill that would have given hope to the millions of separated families and undocumented workers living in the shadows, made our borders more secure, and brought order to our broken, dysfunctional immigration system. We are extremely disappointed that the Senate was unable to overcome politics to produce the kind of solution that this nation deserves.

We commend those Senators who stood their ground and fought until the very last second to deliver a solution to the American public. It is because of their dedication and determination to solve this crisis that we still have hope that the Senate will pass a bill that is comprehensive, humane and workable. We are encouraged by Senate Majority Leader Reid’s (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader McConnell’s (R-Ky.) openness to bring up the bill again in the coming weeks, and strongly urge the Senate to work in a bipartisan fashion to reach an agreement that will result in a bill that this nation desperately needs.

Now is the time for the Administration, the Senate and the House of Representatives to redouble their efforts to get a comprehensive immigration reform bill signed into law that is fair, workable, and treats families and workers with dignity and respect. It is critical that this debate move forward to address our country’s pressing need for real comprehensive immigration reform. The security of the United States can only be enhanced with comprehensive reform that couples effective and targeted enforcement policies with future worker and legalization programs that are workable and fair.

While we are dismayed that the Senate process has stalled, we remain extremely concerned about a number of provisions in the Senate bill and some of the recently passed amendments that undermine family unification and the essential workability of the proposal. We call on our elected leaders to support a comprehensive approach that fulfills our humanitarian, economic and security interests all at once.

The stakes are too high for the Senate to throw in the towel. The alternative is to accept the status quo and endure continued migrant deaths in the desert, sporadic raids that separate families and displace essential workers, exploitation of immigrant workers through an illegal immigration system, prolonged waits for family reunification immigrants, inconsistent and haphazard immigration policy and enforcement at the state and local levels, and a chaotic and wasteful border and interior enforcement scheme that places the United States’ security in jeopardy. This alternative is unacceptable.