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Public Statements

STEM Jobs Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. SERRANO. I thank the gentleman.

Let's understand what is happening here today. This bill doesn't increase available visas. It merely transfers them from one program to another. But it eliminates a Diversity Visa program that allows people from all over the world to come here.

Sometimes I wish I could be not only a member of this party, but an adviser to that party, to tell them that they miss opportunities. Here they have the first immigration statement that they can make after the people spoke November 6. What do they do? They destroy a great program--because they just can't help themselves.

What we need is not a piecemeal approach. What we need is not to say that we will only take certain people with college degrees and with ``doctor'' in front of their names and the rest we will reduce those visas. No. What we need is to say that we have an immigration issue in this country. We have 11 million people who are in this country, who want to stay in this country, and who do a lot for this country. Rather than be dealing with this approach today, we should seriously be speaking about comprehensive immigration reform.

To say to those 11 million people, we understand who you are, and we're going to help you to speak English; we understand who you are, and we're going to make sure you pay your taxes; we're going to make sure that you're applying to be a part of this country and you haven't broken the law. But if you came here to work and if you came here with children and if you came here with your parents a long time ago, we want you to stay. That was clear.

If there was any analysis that came from November 6, it is that the American people want comprehensive immigration reform. That is what we need to do, not a piecemeal approach that pits one group of people against the other. If this is an indication of what's coming as people evolve on the issue, as we're hearing on the talk shows, that they're evolving on the issue of immigration, if this is evolving, we're in deep trouble again.

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