A project of the Center for Community Change

Release: FIRM Commends Senator Menendez

Fair Immigration Reform Movement Commends Senator Menendez and Allies for New Immigration Reform Push

Bill introduced on same day prominent journalist Jose Antonio Vargas reveals himself to be undocumented

Washington – Yesterday Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) joined colleagues in introducing a bill that would represent a comprehensive solution to our immigration situation. The following is a statement by Marissa Graciosa of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement:

We welcome the introduction of a comprehensive immigration reform bill by Senator Menendez as a needed shift from the enforcement-only approach being pursued by other lawmakers. So far this year, members of Congress have provided simplistic solutions that would make life much worse for the majority of immigrants in this country.  The Menendez bill marks an important shift in the debate away from scapegoating immigrants and towards a serious and constructive dialogue around what’s best for America.

The same day the bill was introduced, a personal account by Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas was published telling of his upbringing and current status as an undocumented immigrant.  It is a powerful story that is currently reshaping the views of many Americans about undocumented immigrants.  His story is similar to millions of other hard-working immigrants who are forced to hide part of their identity; tragically, thousands of these stories end in detention, deportation, and family separation.

Vargas’s courageous act reminds us why leadership for real immigration reform is needed now more than ever.  The new effort in Congress, led by Senator Menendez, is a step in the right direction.

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FIRM (Fair Immigration Reform Movement) is a coalition of more than 200 of the country’s largest and most active state and local immigration advocacy groups representing nearly every state. It is convened by the Center for Community Change.

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