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Senate Immigration Reform moves forward, at a very high cost for all

Miami, FL – Today, the Senate voted 67-27 to pass the final amendment on their Immigration Reform bill (S.744) and to close the debate in order to move on with a final vote later this week. Even though this moves Immigration Reform and the path to citizenship one step closer to becoming a reality, it takes a very high toll on our communities and our country’s economy.

The “Border Secure” amendment , initially introduced by Senators Corken (R-TN) and Hoeven (R-ND) is fundamentally flawed, and its only clear winners are anti-immigrant politicians and rich defense companies.

Last minute back-door negotiations originated this border deal with a total cost of $50 billion (20,000 new border agents, one for every 1,000 feet, 700 mile fence, drones, etc.) that will create an unprecedented militarization of the border, doing irreparable damage to US border towns, the environment, our public coffers and, most importantly, our values.

We are disappointed with our own Senators and the Senate leadership on both sides of the aisle. One side for kowtowing to the extremist and profiteers; the other for not having the courage and vision to defend the values that make us great. Yet, we have continuously seen the painful and misguided criminalization of our communities. This has not made us safer, nor more prosperous. The war on immigrants has been driven by cowardly scapegoating the most marginalized, and by racists and greedy companies that profit on the incarceration of these communities.

This bill comes at a high moral and financial cost for an already long 15-year wait to equal status, citizenship. It will also put the future of millions of immigrant families on hold without being able to get a green card until the Government wastes billions of dollars at the border instead of investing in real, sustainable jobs for all Americans.

We are moving forward with this debate because we love our families more than we like this bill or the back-room politics that created it.

But, if the House makes this bill any worse, it will destroy the real spirit of immigration reform.  Every step this bill takes towards anti-immigrant politicians is a step away from immigrants, their friends and families, and the power of their votes.

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