Principles on Immigration Reform and Our Commitment to the American Dream, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Members released the following statements:
Senator Menendez (D-NJ): “With these nine principles, we renew our commitment to passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill next year. I’m actively reaching out to Senate Republicans to work together on immigration reform. I hope Republicans will move forward with us in a bipartisan effort to draft and pass common sense and fair legislation to fix our nation’s immigration system.”
Chairman Charles A. Gonzalez (TX-20): “Today marks the CHC’s renewed commitment to bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform. Members of the CHC continue to stand ready to work with our Republican colleagues to make the American dream accessible to our immigrant community and to embrace the notion of fairness that defines the core of American values.”
Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15), CHC Chair-elect: “I know firsthand the contributions immigrants have made and continue to make for our great nation. I see so many hard working immigrants who long to become U.S. citizens because they love this country. When I think of the talented students who want to make their careers in the STEM fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics but who are told they and their families can never become U.S. Citizens, it is downright shameful. We are a better country and a stronger country because of immigrants. Immigrants are our past and they are our future. The time is now, and it is long overdue, for Congress to work together to create comprehensive immigration reform in the United States of America.”
Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (IL-04), Chair of the CHC Immigration Task Force: “Because of Congressional inaction — good people, who are only asking for the chance to work hard, help their communities and keep their families together – have been forced to stay in the shadows and been forced to go around our legal system because they could find no way through it. Well, you know – elections are very useful things. Because election results can show the people who pointed fingers of blame at immigrants instead of pointing us toward a solution for immigrants the folly of their ways. When my colleagues and I demanded fairness for immigrants we used to be kind of like the unwanted party crasher – the one who makes all of the other guests uncomfortable. We stood alone, in the corner. All of a sudden we’re the belle of the ball. Well, it’s time to dance.
“Here’s what every American should know. These principles don’t just help immigrants – they help all of us. Let’s have an immigration system that reflects our values and interests as a nation and that recognizes we are both a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. But let’s create laws that work for us, get people in the system, don’t let employers cheat to undercut their competition or America’s native workers and which gives immigrants a simple deal: if you work hard and play by the rules, you can stay and join us.”
Rep. Ben Ray Luján (NM-03), First Vice Chair-elect of the CHC: “It is clear that we need to fix our broken immigration system that is impacting our economy, our security, and millions of families. These principles that the Congressional Hispanic Caucus will stand and fight for will help ensure that immigration reform will keep our county safer while addressing the realities of our broken system and the values our nation has held dear for generations.”
Rep. Linda Sanchez (CA-39), Second Vice Chair-elect of the CHC: “Our country was founded on the hard work of immigrants from around the world. It is time we get serious about adopting an immigration policy that builds on our country’s great tradition of diversity and reflects on our values of equality and fairness. We must pass comprehensive immigration reform that fixes our immigration system, deals humanely with aspiring citizens in our country, and increases the security of our borders. As member of the House Judiciary Committee and Congressional Hispanic Caucus, I remain committed to working with my colleagues to advance legislation that will truly reform this country’s broken immigration system and give deserving people a chance to become equal members of society.”
Rep. Jose Serrano (NY-16): “The voters have spoken clearly and they demanded comprehensive immigration reform,” said Congressman José E. Serrano. “We are listening and will work diligently to achieve a full and fair reform package to bring undocumented immigrants into the sunlight of full citizenship.”
Rep. Xavier Becerra (CA-31), Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus: “Today, I join my colleagues in the CHC to affirm our commitment to these principles and towards a solution that honors America’s legacy as a nation of immigrants. We stand ready to work with members of both parties, to engage in good faith negotiations and to pursue what President Obama has identified as one of his legislative priorities next year – to finally enact smart, tough and sensible immigration reform.”
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34): “The Congressional Hispanic Caucus will not give up until the job is done. I am confident that with the continued support of the American public, our many allies in and out of Congress and a Latino community more energized and engaged than ever before, we will be victorious and pass fair and just comprehensive immigration reform in the hundred and thirteenth Congress.”
Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-12): “Today, we call for comprehensive reform that protects our families and restores the American dream.”
Rep. Silvestre Reyes (TX-16): “For years, we have fought to change America’s broken immigration system. And with today’s announcement by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, we are delivering on our promise to move forward with real, meaningful reform. We must provide all people living in this country a shot at the American dream. I call on House Republicans to join ours efforts as we work together with President Obama to bring about comprehensive immigration reform that secures our borders and ends a shadow world for millions of people.”
Rep. Grace Napolitano (CA-38): “The Administration seems willing to move on the long overdue issue of comprehensive immigration reform. We trust that our colleagues on the other side will join us in a far-reaching approach, not just a band-aid, to ensure that we bring hundreds of thousands more people out of the shadows.”
Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-07): “The American people are far ahead of Congress on immigration reform. They understand the failures of our current system and the need to work toward a comprehensive solution driven by fairness and common sense instead of ideology. Today’s principles embrace that spirit. Our ports of entry are key to our economic security – that’s common sense. Unifying families and protecting children who work hard and graduate from school is common sense. Holding people accountable, making sure they register with the government, and incorporating them into the American fabric is common sense. The time for dead-end talk about double-layer fences is over. The American people have spoken. Let’s do this right and do it now.”
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), founded in December 1976, is organized as a Congressional Member organization, governed under the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives. The CHC is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Territories.