MEDIA RELEASE: Senate immigration reform bill "moves the debate forward"

While flawed, the Gang of Eight proposal holds promise for improvements over what people face today

STATEMENT FROM NC JUSTICE CENTER'S IMMIGRANT AND REFUGEE RIGHTS PROJECT

RALEIGH (April 18, 2013) — The North Carolina Justice Center is pleased to see that a bipartisan group of Senators has been able to develop such a comprehensive piece of legislation to overhaul our nation’s broken immigration system. We believe this is the year, and now is the time.

Although the compromise bill contains punitive and troubling provisions, the proposal establishes a roadmap to citizenship where there is currently “no way in” – no line to get in and no way to “play by the rules” for people in our communities. We will work with partners and supporters across the state to protect and shorten this path to citizenship.

While not perfect, many proposals in the bill will strengthen our economy, protect families, treat US-born and immigrant workers fairly, and give DREAMers and certain migrant workers an accelerated path to citizenship. We applaud these needed changes to existing law.

This isn’t the bill that we would have written. It’s a tough bill – the product of tough negotiations and major compromises. But it represents a positive step that moves the debate forward. As we continue to review the detailed 844-page bill, we will share our analysis, actively advocate for improvements, and engage supporters from across North Carolina to join us in the fight for fair, humane and inclusive immigration reform.

Over the next few months, the Justice Center will work with partners and supporters across the state to support what is best in the Senate bill, and to improve what needs to be changed. We need you to join us in hosting local community forums and making calls to Congress. We can’t win the kind of immigration reform North Carolina needs without your active support.

Our top priority for any immigration reform should be keeping families together. That is a primary standard by which we should judge all immigration reform proposals. Hopefully, as the debate continues, Congress keeps this simple but crucial principle in mind.  Real reform means upholding our country’s deepest values of fairness, opportunity and prosperity for all.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Dani Moore, Director of the Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project, dani@ncjustice.org, 919.856.2178; Jeff Shaw, Director of Communications, jeff@ncjustice.org, 503.551.3615 (cell).