Washington D.C. - Immigration developments this week reflect the rising frustration across America over the lack of action in Washington on immigration. While Congress debates the "right time" for real immigration solutions, the consequences of a broken immigration system only get worse and frustrate families, employers, workers, taxpayers, voters and local communities.
State-Based Patchwork Legislations
Angry with the lack of federal leadership on immigration, some states, municipalities, and communities, among them Freemont, Nebraska, the states of Tennessee,Pennsylvania, South Carolina and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are attempting to take enforcement of federal immigration laws into their own hands. In more than 22 states, state legislatures are considering Arizona-like immigration measures.
Meanwhile, other local communities across the country are standing up against Arizona's discriminatory law, urging a comprehensive solution to our immigration crisis. States, cities and counties from coast to coast have proposed or adopted at least 60 measures in opposition to the Arizona law that call for a boycott of Arizona, prohibit travel to the state and call on Congress and President Obama to enact comprehensive immigration reform. At least half of these measures have passed. Last week, the U.S. Conference of Mayors passed two resolutions denouncing Arizona's harsh immigration law and calling on Congress to act on immigration reform.
"Allowing states to create their own immigration laws would create chaos and confusion for both immigrants and law enforcement while not fixing the immigration problem at its core" said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration and Chair of the Reform Immigration FOR America campaign. "We don't need an uneven patchwork of state-based immigration laws; we need a comprehensive national solution. State-based immigration proposals should be a wake-up call to Congress, they need to take the steering wheel, fix the immigration problem and finally pass comprehensive immigration reform."
100 Co-Sponsors for House Immigration Reform Legislation
The House of Representatives has passed the 100 co-sponsor milestone for the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act (CIR-ASAP, H.R. 4321. The legislation introduced by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and supported by the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus, outlines a workable solution to America's broken immigration system.
"We strongly commend the House of Representatives for stepping up and providing the leadership that is so urgently needed in Congress today" said Ali Noorani, "Americans expect their leaders to tackle tough problems, not hide behind political excuses. This is a problem that clearly Americans want solved now. The ball is now in the Senate's court and we call on the Senate for prompt introduction of comprehensive immigration reform legislation".
Corporate CEOs and Mayors FOR Immigration Reform
In a display of bipartisan leadership, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg launched the "Partnership for a New American Economy", a bipartisan coalition of mayors and business leaders from across the country making the economic case for immigration reform. The group includes chief executives of several major corporations, including Rupert Murdoch of News Corporation, and the CEOs of Disney, Hewlett-Packard and Boeing and the city Mayors of San Antonio, Phoenix, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
The coalition understands that fixing the immigration system will keep America globally competitive and will strengthen the nation's economy. As Mayor Bloomberg said in a statement, "Immigrants have always been an essential part of America's economic strength. This coalition was formed to change our current immigration policy, which is undermining our economy and threatening our status as the world's leading power."
Ali Noorani added, "The reality is that everyone wants an immigration system that works, that can be clearly enforced and that restores the rule of law. The majority of the American public understands that effective enforcement is established by a workable immigration system that supports American families, businesses and workers. The real solution to our immigration crisis is bold action by Washington enacting comprehensive immigration reform."