U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and 15 of her Senate colleagues today sent a letter to President Obama expressing their support for the passage of bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform this year.
The text of the letter is below:
April 28, 2010
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama:
We know you have stated that comprehensive immigration reform is an important priority that must be addressed this year, and we agree with you that Congress should pass bipartisan legislation.
We believe that a broad segment of the American people support comprehensive immigration reform because they recognize that our broken immigration system unnecessarily damages our economic competitiveness and tears apart families and communities. This coalition of supporters - which includes leaders from the business, labor, religious, and law enforcement communities - understands that a commonsense approach to immigration reform will benefit our entire nation.
Comprehensive immigration reform means a return to the rule of law, increased border and homeland security, cracking down on unscrupulous employers, and preventing future flows of illegal immigrants by removing incentives to enter the country illegally. Reform proposals must protect American workers, end the shadow economy, provide certainty to American agriculture, and increase American competitiveness in all areas of the economy.
Comprehensive immigration reform also means reuniting families, modernizing existing immigration programs, and giving immigrant college-aged students a chance at the American dream. It also must include a pathway to earned citizenship that requires undocumented immigrants to pay taxes and fines, pass background checks, learn English and go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship.
Comprehensive immigration reform must provide fairness for American taxpayers by ensuring that all workers and businesses pay their fair share of taxes. The benefits of comprehensive reform for taxpayers and the U.S. economy have been enumerated in recent reports issued by the Cato Institute and the Center for American Progress.
While a majority of Americans support the commonsense, tough, and fair immigration reform principals outlined above, fixing our broken system this year will not be easy. But with your continued support, we stand ready to address this great challenge and are prepared to support bipartisan solutions for the long-term benefit of our nation.
Barbara Boxer, United States Senator
Dianne Feinstein, United States Senator
John F. Kerry, United States Senator
Patty Murray, United States Senator
Tom Harkin, United States Senator
Patrick J. Leahy, United States Senator
Benjamin L. Cardin, United States Senator
Russell D. Feingold, United States Senator
Kirsten E. Gillibrand, United States Senator
Jeff Merkley, United States Senator
Tom Udall, United States Senator
Robert Menendez, United States Senator
Roland W. Burris, United States Senator
Christopher J. Dodd, United States Senator
Mark Udall, United States Senator
Frank R. Lautenberg, United States Senator