The U.S. Senate Committee of the Judiciary voted to advance the “Gang of Eight” bipartisan immigration reform proposal with a 13-5 vote that included Republicans and Democrats voting in favor of the measure. Senate Bill 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, is one step closer to fixing America’s outdated immigration system once and for all.
The following is a statement by Voto Latino President and CEO, Maria Teresa Kumar:
“Immigration reform is personal to millions of Americans and their family, friends, fellow church members and neighbors that make up the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are eager to contribute to the American fabric. Today, all of us congratulate and thank the Gang of Eight, Sen. Patrick Leahy and the Senate Judiciary Committee for their work, leadership and courage to move this important piece of legislation onto the Senate floor for a historic vote next month.
"Not only did the bipartisan immigration bill come out of committee without major changes that could have threatened the diverse coalition supporting the proposal, but it came out stronger than it went in. Senators accepted dozens of Republican amendments that strengthened the proposal, including measures that give American companies access to the labor and talent they need to continue growing their business without costing American jobs.
“The Gang of Eight bill has cleared a major hurdle and tonight we celebrate this accomplishment, but tomorrow our fight for sensible comprehensive immigration reform resumes. As the House of Representatives prepares to unveil their own proposal, they should build on the Senate’s work by expanding immigrants’ access to healthcare, including preventive care that will strengthen families and reduce healthcare costs across the nation. We will also demand an earned, but fair path to citizenship for the 11 million because anything short of that will lead to a system that creates two sets of residents — American citizens and permanent second class. That we will never accept.
About Voto Latino
Founded in 2004, Voto Latino is a dynamic and growing organization whose civic engagement campaigns have reached an estimated 55 million Latino households nationwide. United by the belief that Latino issues are American issues and American issues are Latino issues, Voto Latino is dedicated to bringing new and diverse voices into the political process by engaging youth, media, technology and celebrities to promote positive change. To learn more, visit www.votolatino.org . Find Voto Latino on Facebook at www.facebook.com/VotoLatino and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/VotoLatino .
Voto Latino is a partner organization of the I’m Ready for Immigration Reform campaign, a diverse coalition of notable individuals and organizations that are united with the goal of ensuring immigration overhaul crates an immigration system that works for everyone. To learn more about Voto Latino’s “I’m Ready” campaign, visit www.ImReadyFor.com .