Pelosi Statement on Safe, Orderly, Legal Visas and Enforcement Act of 2004
May 4, 2004
"I am proud to join Congressman Luis Gutierrez and Democratic Caucus Chair Bob Menendez as an original co-sponsor of the Safe, Orderly Legal Visas and Enforcement Act.
"America is constantly being reinvigorated by the arrival of newcomers to our country. Every day, we are strengthened by their courage, their determination and the optimism that brought them to America. Our immigration system, however, is both arbitrary and broken. We need real immigration reform that reunites families, provides economic opportunity for all, and enhances our security.
"The SOLVE Act addresses the weaknesses of our immigration policy in a balanced and comprehensive manner. It provides meaningful pathways for citizenship and permanent residency for immigrants who are working hard and paying taxes. It addresses the backlog of millions of family-based immigration requests. The SOLVE Act provides for a temporary worker program with strong labor protections, and creates strong wage protections for U.S. workers and labor certification rules for U.S. employers. It protects our security by making sure that immigration is safe, orderly, and legal.
"Unfortunately, the President and Republican leaders in Congress appear to be engaged in political ploys and have no intention of advancing any substantive immigration reform proposal this year.
"If the President is serious about making progress, he should support the SOLVE Act and should call for immediate action on two other pieces of legislation with widespread bipartisan support - the DREAM Act and the AgJobs bill. Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard's bipartisan DREAM Act would provide young immigrants with higher educational opportunities. Congressman Howard Berman's AgJobs bill would enable 500,000 agricultural workers to become legal permanent residents through earned legalization.
"We must continue to work to bring about bipartisan immigration reform that respects our core values-family unity, fairness, economic opportunity for all, and homeland security."