MALDEF is Encouraged by the Introduction of Comprehensive Immigration Reform Legislation

Congressman Luis Gutierrez joined by 89 original co-sponsors from CHC, CBC, Asian Pacific American Caucus and Progressive Caucus

December 15, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC – The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) appreciates that Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) has introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 (CIR ASAP), marking the launch of the 111th Congress's effort to achieve comprehensive immigration reform. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Black Caucus, Asian Pacific American Caucus and Progressive Caucus have signaled their support of the legislation. MALDEF looks forward to working with Congressman Gutierrez and roughly 89 co-sponsors to secure legislative reform that will protect the rights of workers, reunite all families, ensure a pathway to citizenship for students, and put an end to unjust enforcement policies.

“After being on our national agenda for a decade, comprehensive immigration reform’s time has come. It is imperative that the Congress and Administration act in 2010 to provide legal protections to the millions of immigrants who over years have contributed to our economy and society,” stated Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel. “We thank Representative Gutierrez for beginning this critical policy discussion.”

MALDEF has worked tirelessly with both chambers over the past several years in the hopes that millions of hard working, law abiding and tax paying immigrants can come out of the shadows without fear of having their families divided and their contributions to our nation dismissed.

“We hope the Obama administration and the Senate take the necessary steps to ameliorate our ailing immigration system,” said Claudine Karasik, MALDEF Legislative Staff Attorney. “We know that a majority of Americans support immigration reform, a sentiment that stems from this nation's long and storied immigrant past and our strongly-held value of honoring diversity but also from the desire to have an immigration system that will justly serve the interests of all people.”

Based on the Congressman’s immigration principles, MALDEF expects to support many of the legislation’s elements. We look forward to reviewing what is included and omitted as well as to providing input in the weeks and months ahead.

For all media inquiries, please contact Laura Rodriguez.

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund