'Democrats Want Real Immigration Reform to Enhance Security, Promote
Family Unity, Fairness, and Economic Opportunity'
D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined House Democratic
Caucus Chairman Bob Menendez, Congressman Luis Gutierrez, Chair
of the Immigration Task Force and immigrants' rights and advocacy
groups at a news conference today to introduce comprehensive Democratic
immigration reform principles:
is an important day for us. Democrats believe in real immigration
reform that reunites families, provides economic opportunity for
all, and enhances our security.
Bush's recent immigration proposal, unfortunately, falls far short
of that. The President's policy does not create a meaningful pathway
for citizenship and permanent residency. It does nothing about the
backlog of millions of family-based immigration requests. It lacks
basic labor protections for current and future workers. And it ignores
one of our highest bipartisan priorities: to provide opportunities
to immigrant students, so that America will sustain an educated
proposal, unfortunately, looks like a political ploy, and does have
a solid foundation on which we can build an improved immigration
have a better way. Our principles address the realities of immigration
believe in family reunification. Our country believes in family
values, so it would be consistent that families be united. Children
should be with their parents. And no one should be stuck in a backlog
that keeps them apart from their loved ones. Democrats believe in
rewarding work and providing opportunities for legalization.
strongly support bipartisan, balanced policies such as Congressman
Howard Berman's AgJobs bill that would enable 500,000 agricultural
workers to become legal permanent residents through earned legalization.
Democrats also support Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard's bipartisan
DREAM Act that would provide young immigrants with higher educational
recognize the value of immigrants to our society. Every single day,
we are constantly reinvigorated by the arrival of newcomers with
their determination, with their commitment to a better future, commitment
to family values and their work ethic. Every day, we are strengthened
by their courage, determination and the optimism that brought them
to America. We believe in real immigration reform, not election
year window dressing. If the President is serious about immigration
reform, he should call for immediate action on the DREAM Act and
the AgJobs bill.
stand ready to work with the President to bring about bipartisan
immigration reform that respects our core values -- family unity,
fairness, economic opportunity for all, and homeland security. We
are ready to make progress today. We believe that these principles
give us the foundation to do just that."