(Washington DC) -Today, President Barack Obama hosted a bipartisan, bicameral group of Members of Congress in an effort to open the discussion on a concrete and achievable plan to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform. The Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) that took part in the meeting believe the President strongly articulated his commitment to moving immigration reform and look forward to working with Secretary Janet Napolitano and leaders in Congress to get a reform bill passed this year.
“For the first time since I’ve been a Member of Congress, I’m seeing a genuine effort to bring together the diverging views on immigration and move past the rhetoric, so that we can have an honest and open conversation with the end goal being true comprehensive immigration reform. I am excited that the President has named Secretary Janet Napolitano to be the point person of his Administration on this reform, and I believe that selection speaks volumes to the level of commitment the White House has to resolving this crisis,” said Congresswoman Nydia M. Velazquez, the Chairwoman of CHC. “The American people want meaningful reform and, after today’s meeting, I believe that we have a group of legislators who are ready to make that happen. Complex and sensitive issues, such as immigration, require the leadership of the President and on behalf of the CHC, I want to thank him for bringing us together.”
“From a national security perspective, we need comprehensive immigration reform to bring the estimated 9 to 12 million people out of the shadows so we can focus our efforts on the select few who may pose a security risk,” Congressman Silvestre Reyes, Chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, said. “The President reiterated his commitment to moving forward with comprehensive immigration reform legislation and sought a commitment from both Republicans and Democrats to seek common ground on vital issue.”
“President Obama understands the importance of the issue and has put the weight of the White House behind our efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform,” said Congressman Xavier Becerra, Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus. “I believe the American public has the will to support a comprehensive reform of our immigration laws. They are tired of the broken immigration system and want to see something done. We will continue working with the President and in a bipartisan manner to finally come forth with a bipartisan solution.”
“Today, a lot of cynicism and a lot of doubt were left behind,” said Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez, Chair of the CHC Immigration Task Force. “President Obama said he wants to get this done this year. The President convened a meeting, he brought together a group of lawmakers who are serious and committed to comprehensive immigration reform, and he led. He was the President of the United States, and he led today.”