Far Reaching Immigration Bill Introduced in the House
December 21, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D. Ill., introduced a bill last week to reform the nation's broken immigration system. The legislation includes provisions that would provide undocumented immigrants with a pathway to citizenship and establish a commission to determine the future flow of workers into the United States.
"Our nation's immigration policies should be pro-family, pro-job and pro-security," Gutierrez said at a press conference. "This bill accomplishes all three."
Under the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 (CIR ASAP), immigrants would have to satisfy certain requirements before legalizing their status, including learning English, passing a criminal background check, paying a fine and any back taxes, and proving they were legally present in present in the United States continuously since the day the bill was introduced. On the security front, it provides additional funding to beef up port and border security infrastructure, and to assist states fighting drug smuggling and human trafficking.
The bill would also create a Commission on Immigration and Labor Markets, a federal agency that would provide unbiased research and recommendations regarding the future flow of immigrant workers into the United States. The agency's goal will be to make recommendations based on the needs of the U.S. employment market to minimize wage displacement, unauthorized employment, and job displacement among native-born workers.
The Leadership Conference has long supported comprehensive immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship for undocumented workers, reduces backlogs in the family immigration system, respects the civil rights and civil liberties of immigrants, and fully protects the rights of all workers regardless of their immigration status.
An immigration overhaul bill is expected to be introduced in the Senate some time next year.