Today, the Latino - Jewish Congressional (LJC) Caucus, a bipartisan group of Latino and Jewish members in the U.S. House of Representatives who work together on issues of common concern, are introducing five principles -- including a pathway to earned citizenship -- and calling for pragmatic common-sense solutions to fix our immigration system that also reflect our shared American values. The co-chairs of the LJC Caucus released the following statements:
Congressman Xavier Becerra (CA-34), Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus: "Immigration impacts us all, not just immigrants of Jewish or Latino descent but all Americans, and those from all around the world who aspire to become taxpaying American citizens. And to truly reform our broken immigration system, we must put forward solutions that reflect our shared interests and values. I'm proud to join my colleagues in the Latino -- Jewish Congressional Caucus to introduce these common sense principles -- including a pathway to earned citizenship -- to help guide members of Congress from both parties as we work together to finally fix our very broken immigration system."
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27): "With a unique historical partnership and common immigrant experience, the Latino and Jewish communities also share values of liberty, justice, and equal rights. Because of that, I am proud to join my colleagues of the Jewish-Latino Congressional Caucus in calling for a reform to our nation's immigration laws that is consistent with our American principles. We are a nation of laws, and we are also a nation based on opportunity and fairness for all. I am hopeful that my colleagues in the House can keep these principles in mind as we work together to honor the rule of law and strengthen our families and our communities."
Congressman Eliot Engel (NY-16): "I fully support comprehensive immigration reform as outlined by the Latino-Jewish Congressional Caucus. All of our families have come to this country from elsewhere -- whether it be from Eastern Europe, Latin America, or countless places around the world. Immigration reform is more than just words on a piece of legislation -- it is about people and families, and the lives they hope to lead. Immigration reform is also something which is long overdue. The Senate has passed its legislation, and now the House must now do its part and create a path to citizenship while strengthening and enforcing our borders. We cannot ignore the 11 million people -- and their families, which include American citizens --living in our country. Fixing this situation will strengthen our national security, aid our economy, and end the exploitation of millions of people. It is also the right thing to do."
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23): "Comprehensive immigration reform should be a no-brainer. With the recent passage of the Senate's immigration bill, the onus is now on us to fix our nation's broken immigration system. We must never forget that we are a nation built on the principles of freedom--a place where those seeking a better life can have one if they work hard and contribute to their communities. We stand united in our efforts to pass fair and secure immigration reform in order to preserve the American dream."
LATINO -- JEWISH CONGRESSIONAL CAUCUS
Principles on Immigration Reform
Latino and Jewish communities in the U.S. share interests and values that have been defined by their unique immigrant experiences which often navigate diverse identities, nationalities and cultures.
In both communities, immigrants resettled in the United States with the hope of securing a better future for their families. Both Jewish and Latino immigrants have struggled to overcome discrimination and find a balance between integrating into the American culture and preserving their rich heritage. Our communities have built strong coalitions across a number of issues, based on this common historical experience; nowhere is that more evident than in our mutual work on immigration issues and reforming our nation's broken immigration system.
As longtime partners on these issues, we call for pragmatic common-sense solutions to fix our immigration system in a way that meets our nation's economic needs, protects those who flee persecution, reflects our shared commitment to security, justice, equal opportunity, family unification, immigrant integration and human dignity.
We rely on our mutual traditions to support reform that ensures that America's opportunities and freedoms are accessible to all. Thus, we commit to bipartisan immigration reform legislation that includes:
- A viable and efficient pathway to earned citizenship for undocumented immigrants;
- Reforms to address both future flows and the backlogs in our current immigration system, acknowledging the economic, social and cultural contributions of immigrant workers and their families;
- Reforms that are consistent with civil, constitutional and basic human rights;
- An increased commitment to support the civic and economic integration of all immigrants; and
- Smart, effective and humane enforcement measures that bolster national and border security. Comprehensive immigration reform is not just about immigrants, it's about us: Latinos, Jews and all Americans.
Comprehensive immigration reform that reflects our values and interests as Americans will strengthen our nation's global competitiveness in the 21st century and allow today's immigrants, as well as future generations, an opportunity to succeed in the United States.