WASHINGTON--In the wake of a Senate stalemate over the immigration bill--ending any prospects of passage for the time being--Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) the House lead on immigration, pleads with the Senate on Friday to not give up.
Gutierrez: "Senators must get back to the table, and they must get this done."
statement from Gutierrez....
GUTIERREZ CALLS ON SENATE TO
NOT GIVE UP ON IMMIGRATION REFORM
Congressman calls on Senate Leadership
to work out differences and to get immigration
reform legislation back on track
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Representative Luis V. Gutierrez, chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Immigration Taskforce, today released the following statement after the Senate voted against moving forward on an immigration reform bill:
"While I am extremely disappointed and dismayed with the Senate's actions last night, I think it is important to recognize the outstanding work of Senators Menendez, Kennedy, Obama, Salazar, Graham and Hagel. Throughout this debate, they have shown true compassion, courage and a commitment to getting this done.
"We have a critical, but closing, window to fix our nation's badly broken immigration system. But we must act now. We cannot postpone this debate. We cannot pass this responsibility off onto another Congress or another Administration. The safety and security of millions of men and women are at stake.
"At the end of the day, immigration is a life and death issue. I am encouraged that Majority Leader Reid said that the Senate may revisit this issue, but he and others must understand that each day that goes by without action means more people will die in the desert. More immigrants will be exploited and abused. And more innocent victims will have their lives devastated and destroyed for doing the most fundamental -- the most natural thing -- and that is trying to provide for their family and loved ones.
"How do we explain to the U.S. Citizen child that his mother is being deported because the Senate failed to invoke cloture? How do we explain to the straight-A student that he can't go to college because the Senate couldn't cut off debate? How do we explain to the child that her father died coming to the United States to pick grapes because the Congress did not have the courage to act?
"The answer is simple; we can't. Congress cannot hide behind insider Washington tactics. Senators must get back to the table, and they must get this done. This issue is too important to the security of our homeland, our families and our economy. I urge the President to get more involved to get this done.
"What I find so interesting is that after all of the tough talk about security by Senate Republicans, they voted overwhelmingly last night to endorse the status quo and to not implement critical border security initiatives. What will the history books say about their decision to keep our borders porous and to hide behind parliamentary procedures on an issue as important as homeland security?
"Immigration advocates across the country have been patient and reasonable, but this should not be mistaken for complacency. We are going to fight, and we are going to hold those who stifle this critical issue accountable for their inaction. We are going to fight for what is right -- and for what is necessary -- to keep this critical issue moving forward. The time to act is now; the time for excuses is over. Let's get this done."
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