Washington, DC - Michael Bennet, U.S. Senator for Colorado, released the following statement on a blueprint unveiled today by Senate leadership to enact comprehensive immigration reform:
"It's clear from what's been happening around the country, including the outrageous law in Arizona, that Washington cannot afford to put reform off for another day or another year. It is a shame that the federal government's failure to reform our immigration system or enforce our borders has led us to the point where our local governments, local communities, and police forces in particular, are put in the position of having to enforce immigration laws because no one else has. That's a completely untenable situation.
"Any comprehensive solution must secure the border, and require the undocumented to register and become legal, pay a fine, pay their taxes, learn English and pass criminal background checks. Those who have serious criminal records should be sent back to their country of origin.
"It is unacceptable to have 11 million people in our country living outside the legal system. A tough, fair and practical comprehensive solution will help the economy by turning undocumented workers into legal taxpayers and ensure that businesses have the necessary skilled and unskilled labor they need to compete. Sensible reform will also help families stay together, give DREAM Act kids hope and rein in abuses by employers who break the law.
"I look forward to working with anyone, from any party, who shows a genuine commitment to restoring common sense to our immigration system, and to ensuring we are once again both a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws."
Today's announcement comes on the heels of a letter Bennet sent to Senate Leadership urging them to make immigration reform a priority this year. For more information on that letter, please click here.