|AJC Welcomes House Republicans Decision to Reengage Immigration Reform|
January 31, 2014 – Washington – AJC welcomed the
House Republican leadership decision to reengage immigration reform by issuing
a set of principles, but expressed concerns about serious shortcomings in their
approach. The Standards for Immigration Reform document was released at a House
“We are glad that House Republicans are taking steps
to move the legislative process forward on immigration reform,” said Richard
Foltin, AJC’s Director of National and Legislative Affairs. “2014 should be the
year that this issue, so critical for American society, finally is resolved.”
“But, of utmost concern, the principles fail to
establish a clear and reasonable path to citizenship for 11 million
undocumented individuals in the United States,” said Foltin.
“Moreover, the Republican principles would require
the implementation of certain enforcement triggers before the undocumented
could even live legally in the United States,” Foltin continued. “Bringing
these individuals out of the shadows and immediately giving them a legal status
must be the first step in any immigration reform package.”
pointed out that the principles overlook the importance of the family
immigration visa system. “Family reunification is a core issue,” said Foltin.
“Any immigration reform proposal must include positive reforms to make it
easier for families to reunite with their loved ones.”
On the positive, the principles include important
improvements to the U.S. immigration system, such as citizenship for
undocumented youth who came to the U.S. at a young age, important updates for
employment and temporary worker visas, and enforcement measures.
AJC urged House Republicans and Democrats to work
together in the coming weeks to craft a solid and workable bill for
comprehensive immigration reform.
Since its founding in 1906, AJC has been outspoken in
support of fair and generous immigration policies, characterized by the rule of
law. Comprehensive immigration reform will strengthen America’s global
competitiveness and enhance our national security, as well as allow
hard-working immigrants an opportunity to succeed in the United States, for
themselves and for future generations.