Latino Immigrant Leaders Welcome Introduction of Senate Immigration Reform Bill Encouraged by Rare Bipartisan Effort in Senate
The National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC)] praised the so-called “gang of eight” US Senators who have worked to break through the political logjam in Washington and crafted a bi-partisan proposal for new legislation on immigration.
“Today marks an historic step forward, after years of frustration and inaction” said Angela Sanbrano, NALACC’s board president. “Although it will take some time to analyze the full content of the proposal, we hope that this bill reflects the invaluable contributions of immigrant communities to this nation, including the contributions of immigrants to our workforce, our tax base, and our shared cultural assets,” she added.
“We are delighted that an immigration reform bill is finally being filed today,” stated Juvencio Rocha-Peralta, NALACC’s board vice-president and AMEXCAN’s president in North Carolina . “After the strong turnout of Latino voters in the last election, it is clear that our communities are eager to engage and contribute to our adopted nation,” he continued. “We hope that people will be able to move swiftly toward legal permanent residency status and to eventually have the option to apply for U.S. citizenship,” concluded Mr. Rocha-Peralta.
“But no one piece of legislation will solve all the problems of our dysfunctional, obsolete and wasteful immigration laws,” stated Sergio Sosa, a NALACC board member and executive director of Heartland Workers Center in Nebraska. “We recognize that this marks the first, not the final step toward sensible, humane immigration policies for the 21st century, and we will continue to work toward that goal,” concluded Mr. Sosa.
NALACC leaders urged President Obama to recognize that we are turning a new page on immigration reform and end the current practice of aggressive detention and deportation of immigrants whose only infraction of the law is to be residing in the U.S. without an immigrant visa. This harmful practice inflicts undue pain on hundreds of thousands of immigrant families, and is inconsistent with the spirit of reform.