Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), an advocate for comprehensive immigration reform, voted in favor of the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2011 (H.R. 3012), which eases the current burdens on employment-based and family-based visas. Rep. Crowley issued the following statement on the need for further bipartisan action to truly address our nation's broken immigration system:
"Today, the House of Representatives is considering legislation that would ease current burdens on employment-based and family-based visas.
"This bill may be a small step, but it is at least a step forward.
"And I am heartened to see the bipartisan recognition that there are workers and families who need reform of our broken immigration system.
"For employers, workers, families and communities, all the misguided enforcement-only bills in the world won't help without a real immigration reform solution.
"Today's legislation recognizes that we need to provide some relief to those trapped in a system that is not meeting our economic or social needs.
"But let me be clear: our job is not done.
"I am glad that both sides of the Judiciary Committee were able to work together on this bill.
"If only we could find more bipartisan ground on an issue so fundamental to the success of our country, I believe we would all be better off.
"I remain hopeful that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will join me in recognizing that the problems of our immigration system are not going to go away on their own, and that we need a real solution.
"That means a comprehensive immigration reform package that will secure our border, crack down on exploitation of immigrant labor, improve the legal immigration system and require those who are already here to register, pay taxes and earn their way to legal citizenship.
"I hope that today's bill is a promise of good things to come, not an excuse for why more doesn't get done."
Congressman Crowley is the seven-term representative from the 7th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and serves as a Chief Deputy Whip in the House of Representatives.