The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) is deeply disappointed with the United States Senate’s failure to move immigration reform forward this year. The Senate this morning again failed to cut off debate on its immigration reform bill, this time by a vote of 46-53. With this vote, the Senate ended its consideration of comprehensive immigration legislation for this year.
While ICIRR recognized the flaws in the Senate proposal and worked to improve it, we also urged the Senate to move the bill forward and keep the legislative process moving. Unfortunately, the politics of fear and hate have triumphed over the hopes for a reasonable, workable, bipartisan solution. Now, without a legislative solution
to our broken immigration system in sight, more families will be torn apart, more hardworking immigrants will be caught in raids, and more people seeking better futures will die on the border.
“There are heroes and cowards from both parties,” said ICIRR board president Juan Salgado. “In particular, the Republican Party needs to define itself: will it stand for inclusion or play on hatred? If it continues to pander to fear, it will continue to lose ground in the Latino community and throughout our nation.”
ICIRR again thanks Sen. Richard Durbin and Sen. Barack Obama for their leadership in seeking improvements to the bill and in working to move the bill forward. Both Senators voted for this morning’s cloture motion, and have worked hard to move the bill forward. Throughout the Senate debate, they consistently showed their responsiveness to our state’s immigrant communities.
Despite this setback, the immigration issue is not going away. Our nation’s immigration system is in urgent need of reform. The US House of Representatives must now take up the challenge of crafting a bipartisan reform bill. ICIRR will also continue to work for just, humane, workable solutions, including the DREAM Act for undocumented students. The US needs to bring the undocumented out of the shadows, restore order to our immigration system, and uphold our values as a nation of immigrants.
The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is a statewide coalition of 130 organizations dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social, and political life of our diverse society.
For more information, visit ICIRR’s website at www.icirr.org