Senate Passes Historic Bipartisan Immigration Reform; LULAC Urges House to do the Same
June 27, 2013
Contact: Paloma Zuleta, 202-833-6130, PZuleta (at) LULAC . org
Today, the U.S. Senate passed historic comprehensive immigration reform. The bipartisan bill, which passed by a vote of 68 – 32, represents the first overhaul in U.S. immigration law since 1986. Most notably, the bill creates a pathway to citizenship for 11 million of undocumented residents; and provides for increased border security along the border with Mexico.
“Today, we celebrate the passage of landmark immigration reform which is designed to provide 11 million immigrants an opportunity for full citizenship,” said LULAC National President Margaret Moran. “We are concerned however that the House of Representatives will not give full consideration to this landmark bill. Rest assured we will not be appeased with standalone legislation that only increases border security and lacks a pathway to citizenship. To make sure that doesn’t happen, our community will now redouble its efforts to ensure that the immigration reform bill passes the House of Representatives.”
LULAC Executive Director Brent Wilkes responded to the passage of the Senate bill with the following statement; “In today’s historic vote, more than two thirds of the Senate voted in favor of comprehensive immigration reform that includes extending legal status to the majority of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States along with an opportunity to earn citizenship, the creation of more legal opportunities for future immigrants to come into the country, and shortened pathways to citizenship for DREAM students and agricultural workers. While not the perfect legislation, in many respects, the bill achieves much of what the Latino community has sought for 25 years.”
LULAC will now focus its efforts on the House of Representatives. LULAC has heard claims that there are concerns regarding the bill’s effect on the economy and border security. Those concerns however have been shown to be invalid. Just recently the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that Senate Bill 744 would add significant economic benefits. The CBO concluded that the Senate immigration bill would decrease the budget deficit by $197 billion within the first ten years, after becoming law, and by an additional $700 billion over the next decade, thus silencing the anti-immigration advocates who claim that immigration reform would be a drain on the economy.
As for security issues, the Senate addressed those concerns in a last minute deal to garner more Republican support. The amendment includes adding an additional $46 billion for border security which would essentially double the current 21,000 agents that currently patrol the border. It also authorizes the completion of a 700 mile fence across the border and provides for high tech surveillance equipment in order to detect attempts to cross the border illegally.
As is clear elected officials are out of excuses and the Hispanic community is out of patience. The country needs immigration reform and LULAC calls upon the House of Representatives to follow the lead of the Senate and pass comprehensive immigration reform this year.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 900 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org