Wednesday, April 16, 2014

On Anniversary of Senate Immigration Reform Legislation, Conyers & Lofgren Highlight A Year of House Inaction

(WASHINGTON) – One year ago today, eight members of the U.S. Senate - Senators Schumer, Durbin, McCain, Rubio, Bennet, Menendez, Flake and Graham - introduced S. 744, the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.” This comprehensive overhaul of the U.S. immigration system would bring millions of undocumented immigrants out of the shadows, strengthen American businesses, families, and communities, and spur much-needed economic growth. While the U.S. Senate passed S. 744 on a bipartisan vote of 68-32, the U.S. House of Representatives has failed to take any action on comprehensive immigration reform legislation. To mark the anniversary of the legislative introduction, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.), the Ranking Member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, and Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, released the following statement:

U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr.
Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich): “Exactly one year ago, eight Senators - four Republicans and four Democrats - came together and introduced legislation to reform our country’s immigration laws. This bipartisan spirit was animated by a singular reality: our immigration system is fundamentally broken and must be reformed in order to benefit American families, communities, and businesses. Yet, while the Senate worked in an overwhelmingly bipartisan fashion at every step of the legislative process - ultimately passing comprehensive immigration reform with the support of a supermajority of Senators - the path pursued by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has been unashamedly partisan. Congressional support exists to bring millions of individuals out of the shadows, reunite immigrant families, and boost the economy; all that is lacking is a sense of political courage. In marking the one year anniversary of the Senate’s legislative work, we are acknowledging a year of missed opportunities and inaction by House Republicans. To hold reform up any longer would be more than pure negligence, it would be an act of callousness.”

Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.): "One year ago a bipartisan group of Senators stepped forward to introduce a comprehensive immigration reform proposal.  While not perfect, they had found common ground and their bill attracted broad support in the U.S. Senate.  Americans hoped it would start a process in Congress of examining, debating and giving immigration reform a fair vote to finally fix our broken immigration system.  That's because top-to-bottom immigration reform would grow our economy and create jobs, reduce the debt, make our country safer, energize innovation and competitiveness, and tame illegal immigration.  Even today a majority of Members of the House say that they favor immigration reform, which isn't surprising because reform is overwhelmingly supported by a majority of Americans from across the political spectrum.  That support is one of the reasons why a movement has started to give immigration reform a fair up or down vote in the House.  But the Republican-controlled House continues to stall on immigration reform, and as they continue to run out the clock, the window of opportunity to pass reform narrows."

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