SENATOR INOUYE COMMENTS ON IMMIGRATION REFORM
U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye issued the following statement following today's procedural vote by the Senate on the Immigration Reform Bill:
"We are confronted by the reality of 12 million immigrants who have entered the United States without going through the proper and legal channels. Compounding this situation is the fact that many are parents whose children were born in the United States. As a result, their children are U.S. citizens.
"Many of my colleagues have been soundly criticized as favoring amnesty' because they supported the immigration reform bill. But a careful reading of the proposal reveals that it is far from being an amnesty' measure.
"The question now is: What do we do now? Are critics suggesting that we conduct a massive roundup of all who are here illegally? If so, what happens to their children?
"I am especially concerned about the young children who, because of their parents' immigration status, must live in the dark shadows of the United States. This is not the way to raise young boys and girls.
"The Immigration Reform Bill was not perfect. It was easily subject to nitpicking. But it was a compromise solution that would have allowed us to address aspects of this crucial issue.
"It did not completely address all of my concerns, such as a family reunification. But I would have voted for it because it would have been a step forward. We would still have had opportunities in the future to address immigration reform.
"I remain in favor of immigration legislation that is practical and fair, and that strongly supports family reunification. I also believe that the immigrants who have followed all the legal and proper procedures should have the first opportunity to become citizens of our great country. They have waited patiently for many years."