The financial crisis and downturn in the economy has pushed comprehensive immigration reform to the back burner this year. President Obama has stated that comprehensive immigration reform will be addressed in early 2010.
In October, Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) outlined his proposal for immigration reform. He has been working with various immigrant groups and other members in the House of Representatives to identify immigration issues to be addressed in 2010.
His proposal includes a pathway to legalization for undocumented workers, updated enforcement at the border, revamping the employment eligibility verification system, and protecting U.S. workers. He stated, “Family is the bedrock of our society, and immigration reform must support strong, united families and treat all immigrant families fairly and equally. Right now, our broken immigration system keeps too many American families apart for years and even decades, when they have done everything legally.”
Representative Gutierrez remarked that it is important to strengthen the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. “We all want a country that is better educated, better motivated and better prepared for the future. My plan will strengthen the DREAM Act, making it quicker and easier for students who grew up in America and know no other home to fully participate in our society. Immigrants brought here as children should not be punished with fines or other means; rather, they should be fully integrated into our society as the Americans they truly are—and as quickly as possible.”