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March 31, 2006

Window of Opportunity for CIR

The Senate Judiciary Committee has set the stage for a robust Senate debate on overhauling our broken immigration system by reporting out an impressive, comprehensive bi-partisan bill. The full range of issues implicated by the impending debate are enormously complex and the stakes for immigrants, families, national security, and economic growth are extremely high. But at its core, the debate that will unfold over the next 10 days is one about self-identity and fundamental values: What kind of country is America now and what do we aspire to be? Will we continue to be a welcoming land of opportunity or a "Fortress America"?

The Judiciary Committee discussions exposed sharply competing perspectives on the significance of immigration and the role of immigrants in our society. Those who argued against providing a path to permanent legal status offered up a vision of immigrants as dispensable labor who should be granted admission only to serve our country's narrow economic demands. Those who argued that immigrants should have the opportunity to earn permanent residence articulated a vision of immigrants as much more than sweat labor; they embraced a time-cherished view of immigrants as integral to our social fabric and continuing economic vitality.

Denying immigrants a path to becoming full-fledged members of our polity and denying them the protections our Constitution accords to all persons, is to deny the full spectrum of their contributions and, indeed, to deny our very heritage. Make sure our vision of America is not lost in this debate. Use the U.S. Capitol Switchboard (202-224-3121) to call your senators NOW and urge them to support the Judiciary Committee's bill. If not now, when?

Posted by VisaLawyer at March 31, 2006 05:27 PM

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