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For immediate release: April 17, 2013
Contact: Reshma Shamasunder, rshamasunder@caimmigrant.org ; Jon Rodney, jrodney@caimmigrant.org


California has most at stake; state's leaders should champion key improvements to bill

Today, in response to the introduction of immigration reform legislation in the Senate late last night, Reshma Shamasunder, Executive Director of the California Immigrant Policy Center, issued the following statement:

Today marks a significant milestone in the conversation around immigration:  Solid, bi-partisan support now stands behind a roadmap to citizenship for community members who are Americans in all but paperwork. The bill provides a major opportunity to continue this important discussion with our Congressmembers and the public.

The introduction of this bill confirms that the nation is "evolving" on immigration. We're moving away from cruel "self-deportation" and anti-immigrant policies, and toward the creation of a common-sense immigration process.

But today's historic proposal, while an important step, must continue to "evolve."

We know all too well from California's own transformation on the immigration issue that inclusion must triumph over exclusion and needlessly harsh and wasteful measures. When we measure today's bill against this nation's founding principle that all people are created equal, the proposal falls short in some key areas. Comprehensive reform should include all 11 million aspiring citizens, put a halt to painful deportations, and protect the fundamental principle of family unity, both by upholding family-based visas and recognizing LGBTQ families. Reform should also protect all workers, yet a provision to require all employers to check workers' immigration status against the flawed "E-Verify" system could lead to 90,000 pink slips for authorized workers just in California.

Immigrant communities have participated powerfully in the civic process, and as the national conversation moves forward, we look forward to collaborating with community partners across the state to advance immigration reform that reflects our values of family and equality and helps move all Californians forward.


Read the California Values Statement for Immigration Reform, signed by 125 organizations, here.

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