Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Conyers: Comprehensive Immigration Reform Should Keep DREAMers and Parents Together

(WASHINGTON) – Today, the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security held a hearing entitled, “Addressing the Immigration Status of Illegal Immigrants Brought to the United States as Children.” After the first panel’s opening remarks, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) issued the following statement:

“I am greatly encouraged by the tenor of today’s immigration reform hearing, and by my Republican colleagues’ increasing openness to meaningful reform for undocumented immigrants. Nearly 3 years ago, the House of Representatives passed the DREAM Act - legislation that would have taken a significant step toward eliminating injustice in our current immigration system by providing permanent residency for individuals brought here as young children illegally by their parents. After a 3 year lull in legislative action on behalf of these ‘DREAMers,’ I am heartened that we are revisiting the subject today,” said Conyers.

“However, following the moving testimony of several witnesses, I find it hardhearted for the House of Representatives to consider reforms to our broken immigration system that would allow ‘DREAMers’ the chance to become citizens but would do nothing to ensure that these DREAMers’ families stay intact. We cannot reform our immigration system in a piecemeal approach that comes at the expense of undocumented parents, often meaning deportation. Only through a comprehensive approach can we keep American families intact, instead of torn apart.

“Increasingly, my Republican colleagues have described resolving the status of DREAMers as an issue of ‘basic fairness’ and ‘of decency, of compassion.’ We must honor these values - of fairness, decency, and compassion - for DREAMers as well as for their parents. Immigration reform should never entail the breaking up of families.”

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