June 24, 2011

A Framework for Lasting Reform:Sen. Menendez Introduces “Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2011″

From the American Immigration Council, June 22, 2011

Washington, D.C. – Today, Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Harry Reid (D-NV), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) and John Kerry (D-MA) introduced the “Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2011,” a bill that seeks to fix a system that has been broken for far too long. The legislation proposes a balance of solutions, such as enhanced enforcement measures and a mandatory E-verify program which is paired with strategies to address the current population of undocumented workers, improvements to regulating future flows of legal immigration, a commission to study and regulate temporary worker programs, as well as efforts to support the integration of immigrants into America.

The following is a statement from the American Immigration Council’s Executive Director, Ben Johnson:

“We welcome the introduction of the ‘Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2011’ the first immigration reform bill of the 112th Congress that proposes a framework for lasting reform. Senator Menendez and co-sponsors should be commended for offering the country an alternative to the enforcement-only bills proposed by immigration restrictionists. While some politicians propose mandatory E-verify without any counter-balancing attempt to help needed workers retain their jobs, the Menendez bill proposes a strategy for the current population of unauthorized immigrants to get right with the law, implementing mandatory E-verify only in the context of broader system reforms.

The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act’ presents Congress with a clear choice between enforcement-only bills that squander the country’s resources and human capital, and thoughtful, long-range legislation that puts in place the tools for a 21st century immigration system. Members of Congress have, thus far, provided only simplistic enforcement-only solutions and sound bites. The Menendez bill, however, gives Congress the chance to prove that it is willing to put good policy over political expediency, engage in a serious and constructive debate over immigration reform, and focus on realistic solutions rather than passing this year’s political Band-aid.”