By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The immigration reform package presented by a bipartisan group of eight senators contains a lot of good ideas but doesn’t go far enough, according to US Rep. Jerrold Nadler.
Nadler (D-Brooklyn Manhattan), the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, said it’s important that the country do the right thing on immigration.
“I applaud my senate colleagues for their historic efforts and first steps toward serious immigration reform. Immigration reform is one of the most pressing and complex issues now facing the congress. Whether we get immigration right, and whether we get it done soon, will determine in major ways what type of society, economy, and future we will have,” Nadler said.
“Will we allow honest, hardworking people a genuine opportunity to become documented and integrated into our communities? Will we allow families – including bi-national LGBT families – to be reunited and remain together lawfully? Will we attract and keep talented engineers, academics, professionals, and workers of all varieties, whose contributions and labor our economy badly needs? Will we allow young people who have grown up in the United States, but who lack citizenship, to take part in the American dream through the Dream Act?” he said.
Nadler said the senate proposal, released by the eight senators – four Democrats and four Republicans – under the heading “Bipartisan Framework for Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” contains many critical and badly needed reforms, including the http://dreamact.info/ Dream Act and a provision he originally proposed that would help elderly immigrants move more quickly through the process of becoming US citizens.
“But we should go further. For one, the bill excludes LGBT families within its family reunification provision, ignoring the plight of some 40,000 bi-national gay and lesbian couples and their kids. This must be changed. And, its proposed pathway to citizenship is too long and arduous. We can and must do better,” Nadler said.
Still, Nadler called the proposal “a good first step.”
The immigration reform package was presented last week by the so-called “gang of eight” senators who have been working on it for months. New York’s senior senator, Democrat Charles Schumer, is one of the group of eight. Senators John McCain (R-Arizona), Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Michael Bennet (D-Colorado), and Jeff Flake (R- Arizona) along with Schumer are members of the group.
One of their goals is to “create a tough, but fair path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants currently living in the United States that is contingent upon securing our borders and tracking whether illegal immigrants have left the county when required,” the framework document reads in part.
The issue of immigration reform caused some fireworks at a senate hearing on April 22, when US Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) shouted at Schumer, who is said was accusing him of seeking to use the Boston Marathon Bombing as an excuse for the senate to postpone taking action in the issue. Schumer denied Grassley’s assertion.