Thursday, March 22, 2007

Metro Detroit Leaders Respond to New Immigration Bill

Metro Detroit Leaders Respond to New Immigration Bill
New Bipartisan STRIVE Act Initiates Action in Congress

Detroit, MI – Clergy from MOSES and a diverse group of community leaders from across Metro Detroit came together on Thursday to praise action in Congress on comprehensive immigration reform. Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Representative Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced bipartisan comprehensive legislation today that will replace an immigration system that is unregulated, chaotic and abusive with one that is secure, controlled and fair.

The STRIVE Act (Security Through Regularized Immigration and Vibrant Economy) includes principles and elements that are needed to fix our broken immigration system. These principles include restoring the rule of law, providing a path to earned citizenship, protecting immigrant and American workers alike, reuniting families, respecting due process, and helping newcomers become new Americans while helping the communities in which they settle.

“A comprehensive solution must include solutions to many problems, including fundamental due process protections. Many of the enforcement measures introduced in the last Congress involved increasing the use of secret evidence in immigration processes and removing judicial discretion. Such provisions represent a particular threat to our community and, in general, a threat to the core principles on which our country was founded,” said Noel Saleh, President of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS).

“We welcome the STRIVE Act because it moves us in the direction of our goal: to get our Federal government to act decisively to get comprehensive immigration reform done this year, to get it done right, and to make it work on the ground once it is implemented,” said Rev. Kevin Turman of 2nd Baptist Church.

There are an estimated 12 million undocumented people who are working and living in the US, and deportation would be an extreme and unworkable alternative. Comprehensive immigration reform legislation along the lines of the Gutierrez-Flake proposal offers a realistic way of dealing with this issue.

It gives families the opportunity to be united with family members in a timely manner. The legislation also makes the changes needed to satisfy the needs of our economy for workers.
“We hope Congress will work together like these two Representatives because America will finally have an immigration system that serves our national interests through increased security, an improved economy and a renewal of the values that define our nation.” Father Tom Sepulveda, Ste Anne Catholic Church.

“Metro Detroit has experienced a renaissance and tremendous growth by the investments made by immigrants, some of whom are undocumented, and are trapped in the complex tangle of immigration backlogs and extended waiting periods.” Kathy Wendler, President and CEO of the Southwest Detroit Business Association.”