U.S. Senators Reintroduce Immigration Bill

June 23, 2011

Photo by W. L. Doromal ©2010
At least some members of the U.S. Congress are trying to move our nation forward on immigration issues. (And all they can do is try because our Congress has become a game for partisan obstructionists who care more about their re-elections than about the American people and our country.)

Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) was joined by six Senators in re-introducing an immigration reform bill, The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2011. The bill was co-sponsored By Senators Harry Reid (D-NV), John Kerry (D-MASS), Kristin Gillibrand (D-NY), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY). It is a harsher form of previous immigration bills  that primarily addresses illegal immigrants and border security.

From a press release by Senator Menendez:
The bill includes measures to strengthen border security, enhance worksite enforcement of immigration laws, and requirements that the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants present in the U.S. register with the government, pay their taxes, learn English, pay a fine, pass a background check, and wait in line for permanent residence.

“This legislation signals to the American people that we are serious about fixing our broken immigration system,” said Menendez. “We stand for a complete solution - a real solution - to end undocumented immigration and restore the rule of law. This is common-sense legislation that addresses the realities of the situation, stops the flow across our borders, and contributes to our economic recovery. If we can put political grandstanding aside and come together on a comprehensive, pragmatic bill like this one, we can bring resolution to a great national need.”

“Effective reform of our immigration system will only come about as the result of a good-faith bipartisan effort, and this legislation is a very strong starting point for that process,” said Senator Leahy. “But one thing we should all support is a civil debate about how best to update our immigration laws to curb the tide of illegal immigration, continue to strengthen our borders, and create a system that works best for America.”

“Today we are living with a broken immigration system that weakens our national security, hurts our workers, and falls short of the most basic standard of justice,” Durbin said. “To fix this system, we need a comprehensive approach that is tough, fair, and practical. Senator Menendez has drafted a good bill and I’m proud to support it.”

“Our immigration system is broken and the status quo is unacceptable,” said Senator Gillibrand. “We need to right-size the system by uniting families while upholding America’s security and the rule of law. I am committed to working with my colleagues in passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill that improves border security while treating immigrants fairly, providing a path to hard earned citizenship, and allowing our youth a chance at the American dream.”
What is missing from this bill is a provision to provide permanent residency for the CNMI LEGAL, long-term non-resident workers.  We need to educate the members of the U.S. Congress so they will act on status for the LEGAL, long-term, nonresident workers of the CNMI or they will never achieve justice, or be given full political and social rights that they have more earned many times over.