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Momentum Growing for Immigration Reform

By Laura DeKoven Waxman
April 5, 2010

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, Chair of the Conference of Mayors Task Force on Comprehensive Immigration Reform, welcomed the bipartisan immigration reform proposal offered by Senators Charles Schumer (NY) and Lindsay Graham (SC). The Senators announced their proposal in an op-ed in the March 19 edition of The Washington Post.

“Mayors commend the Senators for their bipartisan efforts and hope that their proposal is quickly developed into legislation that will ultimately lead to comprehensive immigration reform,” Gordon said in a March 25 statement. “Mayors across the country deal with the consequences of illegal immigration every day. It is critical that any legislation provide resources for cities and states, which are disproportionately bearing the financial burden of our broken immigration system. Additionally, it is essential that we seek to resolve this issue in a way in which the rights of both citizens and non-citizens are protected.”

The Senators’ proposal would require biometric Social Security cards to prevent illegal workers from getting jobs, strengthened border security and interior enforcement, a process for admitting temporary workers, and a “tough but fair path” to legalization for those already in the country.

In January 2009, the Conference of Mayors adopted policy calling for quick passage of comprehensive immigration reform legislation, based on:

    1) increased border security and enforcement;

    2) the protection of human and civil rights of both citizens and non-citizens being detained;

    3) more support for city and state governments which are disproportionately shouldering the costs of the current broken immigration system;

    4) the use of new technologies to match up foreign workers with jobs in this country that are going; unfilled (guest worker program); and

    5) the elimination of current obstacles to citizenship that have resulted in 10-12 million undocumented residents living in the shadows.