A project of the Center for Community Change

Short and sweet: Get on with it!

Our co-director, Rich Stolz, saw this editorial in the Orlando Sentinel and we both thought is was with sharing with you. It’s short and to the point, and I think it’s enough said.

 Get on with it
Our position: There’s no excuse for Congress to delay immigration reform any longer.

May 3, 2007

Frustration was the common theme for tens of thousands of immigration-reform supporters who marched throughout the United States on Tuesday. They are not alone. A recent USA TODAY/Gallup poll showed overwhelming support — 78 percent — in allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for citizenship if they meet certain requirements.

Still, Congress dawdles.

A year has passed since the first wave of rallies without resolution.

Enough already. If compromises are not reached by August, chances are the focus on the presidential race will bog the process down for another year. That simply mustn’t happen.

The good news is that a framework for bipartisan support is already in play. In the House, Illinois Democrat Luis Gutierrez and Arizona Republican Jeff Flake have introduced a reasonable comprehensive package. It allows for employers to verify new hires and an increase in penalties for passport and visa fraud. Undocumented immigrants who were in the U.S. before June 1, 2006, would be eligible for legalization if they meet certain stipulations. The process would include paying a $500 fine and passing a security check.

Their bill is far less onerous than a Bush administration proposal bogged down with severe restrictions. Under its plan, a family of five would have to pay more than $64,000 before applying for citizenship.

The Gutierrez-Flake legislation gives Congress a fair chance for compromise. It merits approval before another window of opportunity is closed again.

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