It’s Time for Immigration Reform

By: Senator Anthony Cannella, Senator Tom Berryhill and Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff
Monday, April 22, 2013

Published by Eastern Publication Group*

As Californians, we are proudly co-authoring Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 8 (Correa). It is a bi-partisan resolution urging Congress and the President to pass an immigration reform bill which includes a path to legalization and a reasonable and timely path to citizenship for immigrants living in the United States.

The United States has been enriched by the strength and culture of immigrants who have come here from all over the world, and there is no reason to believe that has changed.

California has a long standing tradition of bucking the status quo and tackling complicated issues. It’s our job as elected officials to change the status quo when it’s clearly not working.

There is no question that our current immigration system is broken. It is well past the time for Congress to reform our immigration laws in a compassionate, practical way that addresses the contributions of 12 million undocumented immigrants residing in the United States as well as the public safety and fiscal needs of our communities.

The federal government also needs to establish a fair path to citizenship. Immigrants work, pay taxes, and want to pursue the American Dream. There is nothing wrong with this and our federal policies should reflect a desire to make that happen. Immigration reform is simply the right thing to do.

SJR 8 urges Congress and the President to enact comprehensive immigration reform which includes a path to citizenship for immigrants already working in the United States. It also states that the action taken by Congress should address background checks, a demonstrated proficiency in English and payment of any back taxes owed.

The Republican Party has always believed in opportunity for all, and it is time we put words into action. Opportunity for all means ensuring a reasonable path to legalization for our immigrant population so that those who come to this country can adopt the best part of the American experience – freedom, entrepreneurship and self-reliance.

Leaving home is hard. Turning our backs on those who came here for a better life does nothing but create mistrust and fear. Our immigration policies should recognize that immigrants of all nationalities are a vital part of our society, our national economy and our national identity.

We are encouraged by the work we’re finally seeing on this issue at the federal level. This is our opportunity to show Congress and the President just how much immigration reform means to California.

It’s time to recognize the hard work and contributions of our immigrant population. Remember, nearly all of us, or our own forbearers, were once immigrants to this great country.

* This article appeared in 11 newspapers including et Eastside Sun, Northeast Sun, Bell Garden Sun, Mexican American Sun, Vernon Sun, Commerce Comet, City Terrace Comet, Montebello Comet, Monterey Park Comet, ELA Brooklyn-Belvedere Comet, and Wyvernwood Chronicle.