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Public Statements

Immigration Reform

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. PAYNE. Mr. Speaker, creating an immigration process for new American immigrants is not just an issue that will shape the future for one group.

So much is at stake for 3 million African and Caribbean immigrants that live and work here. They're a vital part of our future as hardworking, upstanding individuals in search of freedom and a better life. They also deserve a fair system that works, and they are more than just a number on a page.

Last week, a young lady came to my office who was born in America to Haitian parents. Her name is Natalie. Natalie is a graduate student who has job offers lined up. She is ready to work and commits herself to this country. But Natalie can't do those things because of our broken immigration system. She is neither recognized as a citizen here nor in Haiti. While in tears, she said she has no home. She can't see her family. She's scared and feels alone. Natalie is one of those 11 million people that are looking for a pathway to citizenship.

It is time to pass commonsense legislation that fixes our immigration system once and for all, one that serves our interests and reflects our values for Natalie and the 11 million other Natalies who call America home.

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