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Kerry Co-Sponsors Commonsense Immigration Reform Legislation

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Senator John Kerry today co-sponsored the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act Of 2011. This legislation would create a pathway to citizenship for law-abiding undocumented immigrants while strengthening enforcement of laws to prevent illegal immigration.

"Our immigration system is broken, and again and again Washington has ducked even the most thoughtful and earnest compromises. We have to do better," said Sen. Kerry. "This comprehensive reform includes commonsense reforms, investments to protect our borders, and a path to citizenship for law-abiding immigrants who are already here contributing to our country and our economy. This issue has been crying out for attention for far too long and the day of reckoning will come when Congress actually digs in and fixes a dysfunctional system that isn't working for immigrants, law enforcement, and everyone who believes in the rule of law."

The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act Of 2011 would:

* Create a "Lawful Prospective Immigrant" status that would give non-criminal undocumented immigrants a path to "Lawful Permanent Residency." They would first be required to complete a waiting period, pay fines and taxes, learn English and undergo extensive background checks.

* Require employers to verify that anyone they hire is legally residing in the United States.

* Improve and expand enforcement of immigration laws through enhanced staffing and training of enforcement agencies to better border security and prevent immigration fraud.

* Reform the visa process for graduates in science, math and engineering fields so that the United States does not lose these skilled graduates to other countries.

* Include humane immigration reforms such as the DREAM Act, the Uniting American Families Act, and the AgJOBS bill.

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