What We Have Now Is Momentum on Immigration Reform
by Rep, Luis V. Gutierrez , 2013-01-29
Congressman Gutierrez Travels to Colorado Saturday to Build Support for Immigration Reform
We are on track to pass a bipartisan bill this year that legalizes millions of immigrants, keeps families together, strengthens our country, and eventually allows immigrants to apply for citizenship. All of the pieces are falling into place. We have not signed on the dotted line and some important details are yet to be resolved, but what we have now is momentum. Momentum, plus encouragement from the American people, the President, and immigrant and Latino communities, will get an immigration bill across the finish line this year.
As the President told me in the White House on Friday, immigration reform is his number one priority. Combine that with a serious bipartisan framework in the Senate and very constructive conversations with my House colleagues in both parties and I am confident we are poised for action and not just more talk on immigration reform.
I will be in Colorado next Saturday with local leaders, clergy and elected officials to start a national tour to build support for immigration reform. I want to work with Democratic and Republican colleagues to lift up the voices of the people and families who will benefit from immigration reform. This includes immigrants who fear deportation and who are marginalized in our society, but everyone -- employers, working men and women, and other segments of society -- has a stake in reform and needs to be heard.
The principles that the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) laid out in November
still guide me as I evaluate every new proposal and where a proposal is weak, I will work with those lawmakers to strengthen it. The most important thing right now is to keep the various efforts moving forward and not to draw lines in the sand. Every proposal can be amended at some point and so I am optimistic that the CHC will have a significant input on any final proposal.
This piece first appeared in the National Institute for Latino Policy (www.latinopolicy.org