U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement on the bipartisan framework for balanced immigration reform proposed by U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and others on Monday.
"Immigrants have always played a critical role in this country's success, but the system that makes it possible for them to do so legally is clearly in need of reform. The framework laid out by my colleagues today is a strong first step as the Senate considers a path forward on balanced immigration reform, and I applaud their work in getting to this point. Balance is the key. In my two years here in the Senate, I've supported measures that create a path to citizenship for those already in the United States, as well as measures that would expand the opportunity for the world's best and brightest to come to the U.S. to pursue their ideas. There is a lot to like in this framework, including the creation of a path to citizenship and strengthened prohibitions against racial profiling. This framework also embraces the core premise of the SMART Jobs Act, which I introduced with Senator Alexander last summer and called for the creation of green cards for immigrants who have earned an advanced degree in a science, technology, engineering or math field from an American university.
"This bipartisan framework can be the start of a constructive conversation in our country about how best to confront these challenges, and tomorrow, I will join Senators Hatch, Klobuchar and Rubio in introducing the first piece of legislation in this new conversation, the Immigration Innovation Act. This bill, like the SMART Jobs Act, the AGREE Act, and the Startup Act 2.0 before it, is rooted in a bipartisan commitment to bringing the world's best and brightest into the American economy.
"I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee and throughout the Senate on a responsible, bipartisan, and balanced path forward. The opportunity is unique and the moment is urgent. It is my hope that Congress will act this year and enact the long-overdue reforms to our nation's immigration system that it needs to properly welcome the next generation of new Americans."