CHC on Historic Senate Passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform Legislation

Jun 27, 2013 Issues: Immigration

Washington D.C.: Today, CHC Chairman Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15) and Members of the CHC released the following statement in response to the historic passage of S. 744 the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill by a vote of 68-32.

"Today is truly a historic day for all Americans," said CHC Chairman Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15).  "The Senate showed us that it is possible for Democrats and Republicans to come together to solve one of our nation's most pressing issues.  I applaud the Gang of Eight for ensuring the bill they passed is in line with the CHC's Principles on Immigration Reform and provides all immigrants the opportunity to earn citizenship.  The time is now for the House of Representatives to follow suit and develop a sensible, comprehensive bill that is reflective of our American values."

"The Senate has taken an important and necessary step forward in the effort to enact comprehensive immigration reform that strengthens our economy and reflects the contributions immigrants make to our communities," said CHC First Vice Chair Ben Ray Luján (NM-03). "While there are many aspects of the legislation that do not please all sides, I congratulate the Gang of Eight for diligently working to produce legislation that has earned overwhelming bipartisan support.  A strong vote in the Senate sends a clear signal to House Republicans that now is the time – not for a piecemeal approach – but for a comprehensive package that is fair, good for our economy, good for our families, and good for our security."

"I congratulate the Senate on the passage of comprehensive immigration reform legislation,” said CHC Second Vice Chair Linda Sánchez (CA-38).  “Immigration reform is overdue - 27 years is far too long and 11 million people want to come out of the shadows.  I hope House Republicans will recognize that we need a comprehensive immigration bill which provides a pathway to citizenship, brings families together and meets the needs of our communities, our economy and our country.  We can't afford to wait any longer." 

“Today’s Senate vote sends a strong message that the time for comprehensive immigration reform is right now," said CHC Whip Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01).  "The Senate has passed a landmark bill with overwhelming bipartisan support, and now the House must do the same. New Mexicans and Americans want comprehensive reform that keeps families together, provides a tough but fair pathway to citizenship, enhances border security and is in line with our core American values.  One by one, the arguments against immigration reform have been debunked by facts, logic and commonsense. Last week, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office determined that the Senate bill will reduce the federal budget deficit by nearly $1 trillion over the next two decades, providing further proof that immigration reform is good for the economy, good for businesses and good for job creation.  Now the House must do its job so we can send a comprehensive immigration reform bill to the President’s desk and finally fix our broken immigration system.”       

"Yes we can," said CHC Immigration Task Force Chair Luis Gutierrez (IL-04).  "The Senate acted and now the leadership in the House must determine how we also act in a bipartisan way.  This is a great moment, but we are only halfway to the finish line."

“It’s up to the House of Representatives now," said Congressman Xavier Becerra (CA-34), Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.  "The Senate has done its job and passed a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill that will secure our borders, protect our workers, require employers to comply with common sense laws, unite families and offer hardworking immigrants an earned pathway to become taxpaying American citizens. Immigration reform also will boost our economic recovery and reduce the federal deficit by nearly $200 billion over the next decade. It’s time for real leadership in the House. We must complement the work done by Democratic and Republican Senators. We must debate and pass bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform. If we work together – not as Republicans and Democrats but as colleagues and duly elected representatives of the American people – we’ll get the job done.”

“Today we are finally moving forward on comprehensive immigration reform,” said Congressman José E. Serrano (NY-15). “The Senate bill has many good features, and represents a compromise that Senators from both sides felt they could support. I call on the House to immediately take this bill up as it is written now. I believe that a strong coalition of Democrats and Republicans here in the House would pass the bill without delay.”

"The Senate's vote is another important step toward passing a commonsense, fair comprehensive immigration reform bill this year," said Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (NY-07). "Congress has an obligation to act now to fix the current broken system, which makes us no more safe, but tears families apart."

“We owe this victory to years of patient struggle and determined advocacy by countless immigrants and their allies across the country," said Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40).  "Now, the fight for immigration reform moves to the House.  Recognizing that fixing our broken immigration system will make America stronger and more secure, I call on my House Republican colleagues to join with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to match the Senate’s historic accomplishment and pass a truly comprehensive solution to this critical national challenge.  In the meantime, the Administration should act to end the unfair and unjust separation of immigrant families through unnecessary deportations while this process moves forward."

"We are glad the Senate has worked in a bipartisan manner and taken this critical step toward fixing our broken immigration system," said Congresswoman Grace Napolitano (CA-32).  "It is now up to my colleagues and I in the House to act in the same manner and bring millions out of the shadows. I urge our constituents to contact us to keep up the pressure to pass true comprehensive reform that includes an earned path to citizenship and keeps our families together." 

"In the Northern Mariana Islands and around our nation individuals who have become our neighbors, our friends, our family members live under a cloud of uncertainty not knowing whether they can stay in America," said Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (MP). "Today, the Senate voted to end that uncertainty and accept those individuals into our American community. In doing so, the Senate accepted the principle that we are all better off when we remove the barriers that divide us so that we can all work together to build a prosperous economy and strengthen our nation now and for the future. I congratulate the Senate ­ and especially the brave Gang of 8 ­ on today's success. I look forward to continuing the debate and succeeding on passage of comprehensive immigration reform in the House of Representatives."

“I am very pleased that the Senate has come together to pass a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill," said Congressman Juan Vargas (CA-51). "Now, the House must work together to reach a compromise that will benefit our country and economy, and will allow the 11 million people living in the shadows to come out.”

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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.