Letter To Senator Harry Reid
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Senator Harry Reid
United States Senator
528 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Majority Leader Reid,
The undersigning individuals, representatives of Latino community organizations from around the country want to thank you for your decision on Thursday June 7 to pull out from the Senate floor the immigration reform bill (S.1639, formerly S.1348). In our opinion, given the irreparable flaws that characterize this Bill, it would have been best for the interests of our communities to keep this Bill from any further consideration in the Senate floor. We are convinced that given the fact that our national and legislative debate on immigrants and immigration policy have been taken hostage by a small, but very well organized group of extreme-minded xenophobic and racist political forces, it would be impossible to produce an even remotely decent version of systemic immigration policy reform that is humane, common-sense driven, functional and long lasting.
The sacrifices that in its current form Senate Bill 1639 (formerly S.1348) demands from immigrant communities of today, as well as of the future, far out-weight the supposed benefits. We are hopeful and committed to bring about a change in the way the American public view immigrants, as well as in the way immigrants and immigration policy are debated in the halls of Congress. In particular, we are committed to using the increasing electoral power of Latino communities throughout the nation to advance these goals.
Since it seems that Senate Bill 1639 (formerly S.1348) will be brought back to the Senate floor as early as next week, we urge you to oppose it for the reasons already mentioned. Instead of a deeply flawed comprehensive immigration reform bill that would cause long term harm to immigrant communities and to our nation, we ask you to consider other alternatives to immigration policy reform. Specifically, we believe that there is a concrete opportunity to move forward with a series of immigration reform bills of limited scope, which would move us forward in the right direction.
We are referring to Bills such as AgJobs, the DREAM Act, and other similar initiatives that would result in tangible changes for immigrant communities in our country. We also realize that just as there are positive options for limited-scope immigration policy reform, there is also potential for more restrictive, enforcement-only approaches. In this respect, we urge you to use your position as Senate president to stop any more proposals of this sort from finding a way to become law.
We look to you for leadership on crafting true solutions to the challenges faced by a decades-long broken immigration system. We need fair and equitable immigration reform. We thank you for your commitment to the community, and we look forward to working with you in the development of meaningful, humane and long lasting immigration reform.
(Please see signatories page)
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
Dr. Gabriela D. Lemus – Executive Director
815 16th Street, N.W., 4th floor
Washington, DC 20006
League of United Latin American Citizens
Brent A. Wilkes – Executive Director
2000 L Street, N.W., Suite 610
Washington, DC 20036
National Day Laborer Organizing Network
Chris Newman – Legal Programs Director
675 S. Park View St.
Los Angeles, CA 90057
National Alliance of Latin American
& Caribbean Communities
Oscar A. Chacón – Executive Director
1628 S. Blue Island Avenue
Chicago, IL 60608
William C. Velasquez Institute
Antonio González – President
2914 N. Main Street, 1st Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90031