OCTOBER 19, 2009
The chairman of a key congressional immigration task force has offered a sneak preview of the “compassionate” and “comprehensive” legislation he’s crafting to legalize the nation’s estimated 12 million undocumented aliens.
The measure will be introduced in the House of Representatives in the next few months and includes a citizenship pathway for undocumented immigrants, strict rules for humane treatment of illegal aliens in U.S. prisons and a plan to adjust (increase) foreign visa quotas for American employers.
Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Task Force, proudly announced his bill’s highlights at a recent Capitol Hill rally attended by thousands of immigration advocates. Committed to highlighting the vital contributions that Latino immigrants make to communities and the economy, the task force claims that the only practical and humane solution to the nation’s illegal immigration crisis is to give individuals a chance to come out of the shadows.
That means passing a law that recognizes the vast contributions of immigrants in this country by giving them an opportunity to earn U.S. citizenship, Gutierrez announced at the rally. This, in turn, will honor the American Dream, assures the eight-term Democrat who frequently boasts about being the Midwest’s first Latino elected to Congress.
The soon-to-be-introduced Gutierrez bill will also protect the labor rights of illegal immigrant workers who are exploited, allow families to remain together in the U.S. even when several members are in the country illegally and include guidelines for “humane interior enforcement” that creates policies that respect the tenets of community policing.
Additionally, it will include a controversial and previously defeated measure that grants illegal aliens discounted tuition at public colleges and universities nationwide. In the absence of a federal law, states currently determine whether or not to give illegal immigrants the coveted taxpayer-funded perk but the proposed immigration overhaul will assure all undocumented students get it.
Currently ten states—including California, New York and Texas—offer illegal immigrants discounted college tuition at public institutions of higher education and Gutierrez believes denying the benefit unjustly punishes innocent immigrant children that instead should be fully integrated into society as the “Americans they truly are.”
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