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Public Statements

Comprehensive Immigration Reform is Long Overdue

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. PAYNE. Mr. Speaker, comprehensive immigration reform is long overdue. The leadership the President, the Senate, and the Democrats in this body have shown has been tremendous.

Yes, we must provide a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million living in the shadows. Yes, we must provide the promise of the American Dream for the millions of youngsters brought here through no fault of their own; and, yes, we must ensure that this immigration bill is a comprehensive immigration bill, open and accessible to all.

Diversity visas are one of the few ways and paths that those from Africa and the Caribbean have to become American citizens.

In many African countries, whole cities gather to hear the results of the diversity visa lottery. What's more, immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean typically are more educated, with the ability to contribute to our economy right away.

If we are going to have true comprehensive immigration reform, then we must keep the diversity visa lottery intact at its current levels because our diversity is what makes this Nation great.

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