Shadegg Condemns Extremist New Senate Immigration Bill
Calls on White House to reject proposal-politicizes issue
U.S. Congressman John Shadegg issued the following statement yesterday regarding the proposed new Senate immigration bill:
"As revealed in press reports today, Senator Ted Kennedy's new immigration bill is an extreme measure which will move this issue in the exact wrong direction. The last thing we need in this important debate is a more radical proposal. Unfortunately, that is exactly what this is.
"Americans are compassionate and realistic. They recognize that trying to round up and ship home millions of illegals who have entered this country over the last several decades is impractical and unrealistic, and would damage America's economy. However, rewarding them with an even easier path to citizenship than last year's proposal and reducing enforcement, as this bill would do, similarly makes no sense.
"Both survey data and experts confirm that the vast majority of those who have entered this country illegally do not want, and are not asking for, an expedited path to citizenship. Rather, what they want is the ability to work legally in this country to support their families and to be able to go back and forth to their homes without the fear of being arrested or detained.
"I have worked closely with Elias Bermudez, one of the leading immigration advocates in the nation for years, and he has repeatedly made it clear that the vast majority of illegals are not seeking citizenship and that those who are are satisfied with current law. Mr. Bermudez works with both legal and illegal immigrants every day. They want to escape the threat of being arrested and deported; they want to be able to work and travel home lawfully.
"By creating an 'easier path to citizenship' proponents of this bill are advancing a political agenda, not addressing the real concerns of those affected by current law. Making it even easier for people who entered the country illegally to become citizens is a slap in the face to all U.S. citizens and especially to those who entered lawfully. The proposed new Senate bill will deepen the divide on this issue and make passing reasonable legislation harder, not easier.
"I have spoken with the White House on this issue and it is my understanding that the President does not favor creating an easier pathway to citizenship. If that is correct, the White House should reject this proposal. The White House has already lost many Republicans on this issue. Now is the time for the President to make it clear that he is not seeking to reward illegals with an expedited path to citizenship.
"I have also spoken with my colleagues in the House and Senate who supported the Senate bill last year and urged them not to embrace legislation creating an even easier pathway to citizenship. Given that illegals neither need nor are demanding an expedited path to citizenship, and that passing reasonable legislation as soon as possible is important to them, this bill hurts rather than helps their cause.
"I urge the media and my colleagues in Congress to examine the facts. Talk to those who are in the country, working here illegally today and find out for yourselves whether they are actually asking for an expedited path to citizenship. Then I hope those who say they want to resolve this issue will disavow this latest extreme initiative and work to pass responsible legislation."