Bipartisan Group Pushes Immigration Reform

A set of recommendations on immigration reform were released by the Bipartisan Policy Center August 15, according to The New York Times. The letter also issued a call to action for Congressional lawmakers to hold a discussion of immigration and work to find something everyone can agree on.

“We should refrain from demonizing individuals or organizations for positions that may not align directly with either our views or our opinions on the best method for resolving these important matters,” the center wrote in a statement. “Instead, we encourage a respectful dialogue that acknowledges these concerns and moves forward to find common ground.”

The group is headed by four co-chairmen who all said they have seen progress on immigration reform from members of Congress. According to the source, the group also wants lawmakers to focus on repairing the current, broken immigration system and to work through differences so something can be done about it.

The guiding principles outlined in the statement included controlling how many undocumented immigrants move into the country, offering those undocumented who are already here a pathway to citizenship, creating a system that encourages legal immigration and acknowledging the economic benefits an improved immigration system would have on the U.S. economy.

According to the Times, the goal of the group is to not only address the issues that surround immigration in the U.S., but to also show that there is a way to do so that will please both sides of Congress.

“You’ve got a pretty broad range of views represented, and yet we find that it is possible to find common ground,” Michael Chertoff, a former secretary of Homeland Security, told USA Today.

The biggest issue among Republicans is a pathway to citizenship for the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants. For this issue, the group recommended requiring those immigrants to pay fines and pass criminal background checks. However, many members of the political party are changing their stances on immigration reform and said they can agree to a pathway as long as it has strict requirements.