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Rep. Gutierrez Introduces Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity (CIR ASAP) Act of 2009

December 15, 2009

Today, Representative Luis Gutierrez (IL) and 87 original cosponsors introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity (CIR ASAP) Act of 2009. This progressive comprehensive immigration reform bill identifies a number of workable solutions to humanely reform the broken immigration system. It is the first comprehensive immigration reform bill to be introduced this Congress.

I attended the press conference for the introduction of the bill and, let me tell you, the room was packed. Members of Congress, Congressional staff, members of the press, immigration advocates, faith leaders, and immigrants of all backgrounds crowded into the room, cheering “Yes we can!” The energy was fantastic. While a lot of work remains for us to achieve humane and fair comprehensive immigration reform, Rep. Gutierrez’s bill offers important elements of reform.

Rep. Gutierrez described his bill as pro-family, pro-jobs, and pro-security. He said, “We’ve waited long enough. We’ve turned the other cheek… Now with this bill let’s end the blame game and turn our immigrants into Americans.” All the members of Congress who spoke echoed the sentiment that now is the time for comprehensive immigration reform.

Rep. Velazquez, the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said, “I am standing here so proudly. I have never been so proud in my eighteen years in Congress. Never.” She, like Rep. Gutierrez, believes that comprehensive immigration reform is urgently needed, saying, “There’s no wrong or right time. There is a moral obligation.”

Rep. Crowley, who along with 110 representatives sent a letter to President Obama earlier this year calling for immigration reform, spoke strongly about the need to restore the rights and dignity of all immigrants. He said, “End illegal immigration. Secure our borders. But don’t dismiss for a moment the issue of dignity, the dignity of humankind.”

FCNL congratulates Representative Gutierrez and the 87 original cosponsors of CIR ASAP for advancing the conversation on comprehensive immigration reform. We look forward to working with Representative Gutierrez and other members of Congress to achieve humane and fair comprehensive immigration reform in 2010.

CIR ASAP is endorsed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Its original cosponsors include members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Asian and Pacific American Caucus, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus. For more information on the content of CIR ASAP, check out this section-by-section summary by the Immigration Policy Center.

This post is cross-posted on FCNL’s immigration blog, “Immigration: It’s Our Community.”

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