Maloney Hosts Field Hearing on Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Washington, D.C. - Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) hosted a Congressional Field Hearing at Neighbors Link and listened to testimony from a diverse set of stakeholders, including religious leaders, business owners, and community organizations, on the need for comprehensive immigration reform. Earlier this year, Rep. Maloney and other original co-sponsors introduced a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the House of Representatives. The House bill is nearly identical to the Senate’s comprehensive immigration bill, which passed 68-32. With over two dozen House Republicans expressing support for reform, the House could pass a comprehensive immigration bill if Speaker Boehner were not blocking an up-or-down vote.
“Our immigration system is broken and the failed policies of the past have proven unrealistic and ineffective, yet despite bipartisan support, Republican leadership in the Congress keeps kicking the can down the road. Leaders in government, business, education and our faith communities have come together in support of a commonsense solution. Now is the time for the House should come together to support a bipartisan plan that will secure our borders, reduce our deficit, grow our economy, and create a way for folks to earn citizenship,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18).
“As a nation of immigrants, it is essential that our immigration laws reflect our values. That’s why we must fix our broken immigration system, and why Americans from all walks of life want the Republican-controlled House to act,” said Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-Westchester/Rockland). “The House must pass commonsense legislation that will secure our borders, protect our workers, require employers to follow reasonable laws, bolster our economy, and offer hardworking immigrants an earned pathway to citizenship that allows them the opportunity to fully contribute to our nation.”
“I believe that the opposition to immigration reform is based on fear and emotion. We have been down this path before as a country when we desegregated, during the civil rights movement, and even when we abolished slavery. But without immigration reform, thousands of people who are already contributing members of the community are stuck in limbo. It is unfair and unjust,” said Carola Bracco, Executive Director of Neighbors Link Northern Westchester.
"We are dedicated to insuring that ever student regardless of country of origin or immigration status is achieving, is a contributing member of our society, and exemplifies the character of citizenship. And we are hopeful that continued learning and opportunities to serve their community in the United states is accessible for every student," said Dr. Jere Hochman, the Superintendent of Schools for the Bedford Central School District.
"Our students who have made dangerous journeys are resilient, hardworking, smart and creative; they are problem solvers: they are the kind of students we should seek to include in our institutions of higher education, the kind of people we should seek to replicate in our workplaces and community," said Adrienne Viscardi, Director of ESOL for the Bedford Central School District. "Today I implore Rep. Maloney to share with his colleagues the urgent need for immigration reform because we need immediate action before too many opportunities are lost."
"Access to care needs to be a right. I like to think that when we are talking about a pathway to citizenship we are also talking about access to care for all people," said Joel Seligman, President & CEO of Northern Westchester Hospital.
“Families do better and children do better and communities do better when we all have a place at the table to dream about tomorrow and to solve the problems of today,” said Pastor Paul Alcorn, Bedford Presbyterian Church.
“We can no longer delay comprehensive reform of our immigration system based on streamlined processing, a commitment to obey the rule of law, payment of taxes owed, family reunification, and a path to citizenship. Reforms in family-based immigration, border protection policies, wage and workplace protections, and legal avenues for both low and high-skilled professionals are necessary in order to advance the greater cause. As a Rabbi, I am reminded that our own people’s history as “strangers” reminds us of the many struggles faced by immigrants today, and affirm the commitment to create the same opportunities for today’s immigrants that were so valuable to our own community not so many years ago,” said Rabbi Jason Nevarez, Temple Shaaray Tefila and President, Northern Westchester Interfaith Council.
"We thank Rep. Maloney for calling together this hearing today and for acting to build off the incredible momentum that advocates all across the nation have built to pass just and humane immigration reform. We have an opportunity to make immigration reform a reality for millions of our friends and neighbors, fully integrate them into our society and have them join us as fellow American citizens," said Jose Calderon, President of Hispanic Federation.