It’s been almost a week since S. 744, the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act,” was introduced in the Senate and the legislative process is well underway. The Senate Judiciary Committee, where the bill begins its path through Congress, has held two hearings on the legislation in the last week.
The first hearing, held on Friday, focused primarily on the economic implications of the legislation. Monday’s hearing included 20 witnesses speaking to various components of the bill: agricultural workers, business interests, the roadmap to citizenship, and immigration enforcement.
One such witness was Gaby Pacheco, Director of the Bridge Project in Miami and a DREAMer who migrated from Ecuador to the United States with her parents at age 8. In response to Gaby’s story, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) reminded us all that “to suggest that these young people are guilty or culpable…defies basic compassion, as well as justice. America will be a stronger nation when we acknowledge who we are.”
Although several senators applauded the bipartisan effort to produce S. 744, the hearings also revealed the intentions of some lawmakers to rid the bill of critical pieces, such as the roadmap to citizenship, in the amendment process.
LIRS welcomes this bill as a step forward in the journey to overhaul our broken immigration system and replace it with more humane processes that better serve our families, communities and economy. Visit the Action Center today to let your elected officials know the time is now for compassionate comprehensive immigration reform!
Look out for a special series we’ll be running all next week, bringing you an in-depth look at how S. 744 lines up with LIRS’s Principles for Immigration Reform.