Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today released the following statement on the bipartisan Senate working group's (Gang of 8) comprehensive immigration reform legislation:
"The legislation introduced this week by a bipartisan group of senators is a major breakthrough in the effort to reform our broken immigration system. The plan includes concessions by both sides and includes both a pathway to citizenship and increases enforcement and security at the border.
"The bill addresses a growing problem faced by American companies--including many in California--that face difficulties in filling high-tech jobs in science and technology; at the same time, the bill includes safeguards to protect American workers from displacement and wage suppression.
"We establish a new Blue Card program to provide legal status and a pathway to citizenship for current undocumented farm workers inside the country so they can continue the vital work of growing and harvesting food. We create two new Agricultural Visa programs (one will be at-will and portable, the other a contract program to replace the current H2A program) to ensure farmers have a legal way to hire future workers when local workers cannot be found.
"The next step is for hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee, followed by swift consideration by the full Senate."