While the U.S. Government has shutdown, the deportation machine is still in full force separating over 1000 families every day
Miami, FL – In the midst of a Government shutdown that is affecting millions of Americans, a group of Democrats presented today a new Comprehensive Immigration Bill in the House of Representatives that addresses the urgent need to fix our broken immigration system and creates a real path to earned citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants who have been calling America home for decades.
“After months of being blocked by Republican leadership, we are finally seeing positive movement for Immigration Reform in the House of Representatives and growing support among Republican Representatives,” says Maria Rodriguez, Executive Director for the Florida Immigrant Coalition. “Any comprehensive immigration bill in the House is a welcomed alternative to comprehensive deportation bills like the SAFE Act which we consider is a deal breaker.”
The Florida Immigrant Coalition welcomes the bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Joe Garcia from South Florida, but reminds the Democratic Party and the public in general, that in order to have Immigration Reform with a path to citizenship by the end of the year, bipartisan support is necessary and both parties need to actively work together.
“Just like our government has shutdown because our politicians refuse to work together, the House shutdown on fixing our broken immigration system months ago. Ironically, they haven’t shut down the deportation machine that keeps separating our families,” says Marleine Bastien, Executive Director of Haitian Women of Miami and Board member for the Florida Immigrant Coalition. The agency responsible for deportations, The Department of Homeland Security, is one of the few agencies still fully functioning during the shutdown because its deportation functions are considered “essential”.
“This is a moment when the Immigration Reform champions on both sides of the aisle, like our own Cong. Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-24) and Cong. Luis Gutierrez, should push for a bipartisan solution, whether it is finally filing the Gang of 5 bill or supporting this new bill. The ultimate goal is that an Immigration Reform bill is voted on; voters want it and America deserves it,” says Rodriguez.
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