Congressman Moran’s News Commentary: We Must Pass Immigration Reform

May 15, 2013 3:27 PM1 comment

Efforts to reform our current immigration system are likely to dominate congressional agenda for the next few months. To most objective observers from across the political spectrum, it is clear that our current system is outdated, flawed, and inefficient.

About 11 million people reside in the U.S. without legal status, most having been here for a decade or longer, living in fear of deportation and separation from their families. Our high-skilled visa system is hobbled by prolonged waiting periods that undermine our global competitiveness. And young people brought to the U.S. as children, raised and educated here, are unable to contribute their talents fully to our nation because of their undocumented status.

President Obama has made immigration reform his top priority in his second term, noting in his second Inaugural Address that, “Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity.”

Though Congress has been unable to pass big legislative items in recent years, the high level of public support and altered political dynamics make now an opportune time to enact a comprehensive immigration solution.

The demographics of our country are changing, with no clear racial or ethnic majority expected in the U.S. by 2043. Further, President Obama secured 71 percent of Latino voters and 73 percent of Asian American voters in 2012. These realities have weakened Republican opposition to reform.

Congressional leaders from both parties have agreed on the principles of reform and a “Gang of 8” Senators introduced a bipartisan bill that is currently under consideration in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Immigration reform is particularly important for Northern Virginia. Over 27 percent of the population in the 8th District is foreign-born. We are truly privileged to live in such a diverse and vibrant community. It is one of our greatest strengths.

Passage of immigration reform would boost our local economy even further by providing stability and opportunity to a broad spectrum of individuals, from highly-skilled immigrants in science and technology sectors to those who work in hourly wage service and construction occupations.

But the enactment of reforms is by no means guaranteed. It will require the advocacy of an informed majority to push a bill through Congress.

To continue this conversation and gain valuable feedback from my constituents, I convened a community forum this week featuring a panel of experts who discussed flaws in our current system and answered questions about comprehensive reform legislation. Also joining me was Alexandria resident Gabrielle Jackson, who fled to the U.S. from Trinidad when she was 9 years old. Gabrielle now serves as a social worker, improving the lives of young people in our community. She is what’s known as a “dreamer,” children brought here through no fault of their own and raised as Americans. These young people are educated in our public schools, but are often excluded from continuing their education because they fail to qualify for affordable college tuition. This amounts to a wasted investment, both in the lives of these individuals and in the future economic productivity of our nation.

The DREAM Act would put these young adults on a path to citizenship. Though it passed the House in 2010, Senate Republicans filibustered the bill, blocking its enactment. In August of last year, President Obama announced that U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will now process these “dreamers” for a two year, renewable deportation deferral and allow them to apply for a work permit. But this is not a long-term solution to finding permanent residency for this population that includes impressive young adults like Gabrielle. The DREAM Act must be included in any reform that is truly comprehensive.

I will continue my efforts in support of meaningful reform legislation that includes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the country, strengthens border security and employment eligibility checks in the workplace, and adjusts future legal immigration levels to the needs of our economy.

We are a nation of constant transformation, continuously revitalized by immigrants who come to our shores to make a better life for themselves and their families. This influx of new people, new ideas, and new energy strengthens and enriches our society. Reform of our immigration system is necessary to make full use of the valuable contributions provided by immigrants.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dave-Francis/100003689645540 Dave Francis

    ANOTHER BIG IMMIGRATION REFORM BILL TRAVESTY ON THE WAY?

    It
    sickens me to see this Senate Judiciary Committee drunk with power, as they vote on the
    Immigration amendments? Only goes to show that this slimy bunch, other than
    Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Arkansas who is fighting for the American jobless
    worker and the influx of more dire poverty. Democrat Chairman Patrick
    Leahy, (D-VT) Senator Grassley and Sen. Chuck Schumer are an obnoxious part of
    the group who PANDERING TO ILLEGAL ALIENS AND BUSINESS SPECIAL INTERESTS. The
    majority of these people who are chuckling about the only strong minded
    principles of Jeff Sessions, having ignored revising the 2006 Secure Fence Act,
    to stop further incursions of another huge wave of abject poverty coming into this country. As I see it this bunch nub
    brain politicians have been purchased by the Special interest lobbyists who
    want no stoppage of the cheap labor. Almost every enforcement law could be
    cancelled out, if Congress would issue a biometric ID card to all Americans. It
    could prove who you are, to vote and ease credit fraud. A simple fix, but the
    ex-lawyer types who run our lives from Washington, are the puppets of big
    business. I see them sitting in halls of Power favoring amendments for corporate
    donors, our Southern neighbor and anybody who can fill their campaign troughs
    with cash. The place is the most corrupt location in America, other than
    Liberal state assemblies, who are run by unions.

    IT DON’T MATTER WHERE YOUR FROM, A CITIZEN OR LEGAL
    RESIDENT, WHETHER YOUR ANGLO-AMERICAN, AFRICAN AMERICAN, HISPANIC-AMERICAN OR
    OTHER RACES. YOUR RELIGION, FAITH, POLITICAL PARTY AFFILIATION, THAT IF THIS
    NEW AMNESTY GOES THROUGH, SOMEBODY HAS GOING TO PAY FOR PROCESSING, BENEFITS IN
    THE FUTURE AND YET ANOTHER BOMBARDMENT OF FAMILY SPONSORSHIP. THE IRS DOESN’T
    DESCRIMINATE AND THEY WILL BE SEARCHING FOR EVERY PENNY THEY CAN EXTRACT FROM
    US, IN SUPPORTING THE FOREIGN NEEDY?

    JUST TO POINT
    OUT A FACT, THE TAXPAYERS ALWAYS END UP PAYING FOR THE INTENTIONAL MISTAKES OF
    POLITICIANS AS IN 1986. WE PAY FOR FREE HEALTH CARE: WE PAY FOR ILLEGAL ALIEN BABIES NATAL CARE: WE PAY FOR
    EDUCATION; WE PAY FOR LOW INCOME HOUSING VOUCHERS; WE PAY FOR THE CHILDRENS
    LUNCH AND BREAKFAST; WE PAY OTHER BENEFITS, INCLUDING CASH PAYMENTS FOR ALL THE
    BABIES THEY CONCEIVE-ONE AFTER ANOTHER, ONCE THE JUMP THE BORDER OR OVERSTAY
    THEIR VISA; THE TAXPAYERS EVEN PAY FOR THE FRAUDULENT IRS CHILD CREDITS; WE PAY
    FOR ALL THE SPONSORED FAMILY MEMBERS ONCE THEY ARRIVE HERE; WE PAY FOR THE
    GRANTS FOR SANCTUARY CITIES;

    AMERICA IS FAILING BECAUSE BUSINESSES ARE NOT HELD
    ACCOUNTABLE AND PUNISHED WITH PRISON. SEE OUR QUICKLY ILLEGAL ALIEN HIRING
    WOULD STOP IMMEDIATELY IF A CEO RECEIVED MANDATORY PRISON. BUT IT WILL NOT
    BECAUSE THIS COUNTRY HAS BEEN SOLD TO THE HIGHEST BIDDERS. Just look at the
    present administration-Fast and furious gun running to Mexico, Refusal to send
    military ops to Benghazi, Libya, the IRS exceeding their authority and
    descending on any potential non-profits labeled Conservative, Tea Party or
    patriot, who spell a danger to Obama’s realm. Now just in the last few days the
    Justice Department without subpoena power taking a newspaper personal staff f,
    names, addresses, phone and email information.

    We are down to the bare wire and we must Stop
    Amnesty Now. Congress is in a flat-out race with each
    other to eliminate border security. Behind closed doors right now the lawmakers
    are creating a plan to give millions of illegal alien’s free citizenship. We
    need you to help us conduct a full frontal assault on every member of Congress
    with a NO AMNESTY! PLEASE USE THIS FREE FAX BLAST and/or a PETITION at numbersUSA to do your part? Members of Congress should be contacted at toll-free —
    1-888-978-3065 — and tell them about the massive outlay and urge them to
    oppose amnesty. You can also send free faxes at numbersusa. Others entities
    that print factual data is judicialwatch, americanpatrol and you can congest the key
    switchboard in Washington, with messages from THE PEOPLE to pressure lawmakers.

    DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHATS GOING ON
    BEHIND YOUR BACK AT THE BORDER FENCE AND HOW IT’S AFFECTING YOU, AND THEN WATCH
    IT ON YOUR COMPUTER?” THEY COME TO AMERICA”, The Cost of
    Amnesty is the most exciting, truth revealing dangerous strip of land along the
    border. This is an in your face documentary ever to be made about illegal
    immigration. AMERICANS HAVE THE POWER TO KEEP THESE CREEPS OUT IN THE
    PRIMARIES SHORTLY.

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