Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and a bipartisan group of senators today unveiled a framework for comprehensive immigration reform that will serve as the foundation for a bill the group plans to introduce and hopes to see passed this year.
The framework includes bipartisan agreements on border security, visa reform, law enforcement, and a tough but fair path to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States. In addition to Bennet, the bipartisan group includes Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), John McCain (R-AZ), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Jeff Flake (R-AZ).
“Today marks a resounding step forward in the long time effort to fix our broken immigration system. The status quo is holding back the economy, hurting families, and undermining our security,” Bennet said. “Several weeks ago, a collection of bipartisan leaders across Colorado came together to sign the Colorado Compact and send a message to Washington that it was time for comprehensive immigration reform. The principles we released today reflect the spirit and intention of that effort. There is still a difficult road ahead, but I look forward to continuing this bipartisan work in the coming weeks and months.”
The framework creates a tough but fair path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who are currently in the United States, underlines the need to take more effective measures to secure the border and establish an employment verification system, and calls for modernizing and streamlining our visa process.
In December, Bennet brought together a diverse group of statewide leaders to launch the Colorado Compact, which lays out a set of principles to guide the national discussion on comprehensive immigration reform. The effort represented a year-long effort by Bennet and former Senator Hank Brown to convene and promote a civil conversation on immigration in Colorado that can lead to real and lasting reform at the federal level. The Compact has been signed by over 500 stakeholders from across the state.