Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2010 yesterday in Washington, D.C. The bill could legalize millions of undocumented immigrants.
“I was pleased to see that Senator Menendez introduced a bill in the Senate to fix our nation’s broken immigration system,” President Barack Obama said in a statement. “I look forward to reviewing it in detail, and I’m pleased that the bill includes important building blocks laid out in the bipartisan framework presented earlier this year addressing the urgent need for reform.”
Menendez’s bill comes a day before the Senate is set to go into recess until after elections. He says the majority of Americans are in favor of immigration reform.
“If you look at all of the polls, overwhelmingly, people want to see a resolution of the problem. They want to see our system reformed,” Menendez said Tuesday. “So clearly, you see the difference between those who are willing to move forward and get a reform and [those who are] not, and for the Hispanic community, clearly they understand who stands on their side and [who does] not.”
The bill, which was co-sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), will add new taxpayers by legalizing millions of undocumented immigrants. The bill also calls for focusing enforcement and security measures on the most dangerous threats to American in order to bolster national security.
“Comprehensive immigration reform would provide lasting and dedicated resources for our border’s security, while restoring accountability and responsibility to the broken system. I look forward to working with members of both parties to get this done, “ the President said.
In order to obtain citizenship, immigrants would be required to study English, pay taxes and go through background examinations. It is the first comprehensive immigration bill introduced in the Senate since 2007.
“The status quo is simply unacceptable for both our economy and our security, ” Obama said. “Senator Menendez and others in Congress have shown critical leadership on this issue, which is vital to moving this debate forward.”