Strong bipartisan immigration bill stands the test of scrutiny, debates and amendments
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly voted to pass S.744 immigration bill (68-32), fulfilling the call and dreams of American and immigrant communities across the country. After more than a decade of fighting for commonsense immigration reform, Eliseo Medina, the Secretary-Treasurer of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), commended the passage of the bipartisan legislation:
"All throughout the corners of America, we celebrate this monumental step the Senate has taken to finally pass historic immigration reform. Senators who voted for this legislation have made their mark on the pages of American history. And we thank them.
"What lies ahead will not be easy or pretty, but what stands before the House is a model of compromise that stood the test of scrutiny, heated debate and challenging amendments. The bill is an agreement between two political parties that found common ground in upholding a roadmap to citizenship unfettered by burdensome barriers, protecting future and current working families and strengthening the unity of families.
"No one can truly claim that this legislation is entirely perfect. The excessive and costly resources to secure our border are concerning, while we must still remain vigilant of the length and difficulty of the legalization process for aspiring Americans. Again, this is a compromise, made up of gains and losses.
"What we can undoubtedly affirm is that this bill will set a new precedent and will mend much of our broken immigration system. It will allow millions of our friends, colleagues, families and neighbors to enter the threshold into American society, democracy and our economy. The lives of all families will be impacted for the better as will our economy that will stand to flourish.
"Here lies an opportunity for Speaker Boehner and the Republican majority to respond in a responsible way and pass true immigration reform and not fragmented legislation that will continue to weave obsolete, anti-immigrant ideologies. They can choose to stand on the right side of history or remain mired in the past, fighting yesterday's battles and prove that they are a partisan and ineffective chamber.
"They would be wise to recognize that immigration reform commands the broadest bipartisan support and is the top issue for Latino and Asian Pacific Islander voters. We will continue to mobilize and remain vigilant of the debate and the actions of the House Republicans.
"The Senate has truly done a service to the strong majority of Americans who want the President to sign sensible and smart immigration reform into law. They have injected more energy, more momentum into a movement that will face members of the House head on. Those who have said that the Senate bill is dead on arrival have clearly not met the drive and dedication of the American consensus that demands commonsense immigration reform."