Cbc Hour: Immigration Reformby Representative Marc A. Veasey
Posted on 2013-02-04
VEASEY. I want to thank my colleague Hakeem Jeffries, who is from
the great State of New York, and Mr. Horsford for their leadership on
this issue. They, too, understand how important it is that we speak out
on this issue. It is not only important to our constituents and our
States but to the entire country.
Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to address the Chamber on the very important topic of comprehensive immigration reform. I would also like to express my gratitude to the Congressional Black Caucus for not only their leadership on this issue but also for allowing me, as a member of the caucus, to continue this meaningful and urgent discussion. As Members of Congress, it is our duty to be the voices of our constituents by creating and passing legislation that addresses their concerns.
For much too long, 11 million voices have waited for Congress to work together on comprehensive immigration reform. They're in neighborhoods like the ones I represent in Dallas and Fort Worth and Oak Cliff, which is in Dallas on the north side of Fort Worth. This is an issue that is very important, not only to those neighborhoods, but to the neighborhoods in the entirety of the district that I represent. The consensus on this issue has never been stronger, and I am proud to see Members on both sides of the aisle working together and finding a practical solution to this problem while President Obama leads the way.
I applaud the comprehensive immigration reform efforts, including the proposals put forth by the President and bipartisan groups of Senators, which call for protecting our borders while respecting the unity and sanctity of our families. Our undocumented immigrant community includes DREAMer schoolchildren, who are excelling in math and science, wanting to attend college in the only country they've ever known. It also includes hardworking men and women who are only trying to make an honest living and provide for their families.
Comprehensive immigration reform is about accountability and responsible public policy. It is not feasible, economical, or moral to propose the deportation of 11 million people who are living and working hard in our country. What reform calls for is responsible [[Page H339]] public policy that provides certainty to employers that the people wanting to work are legally eligible to do so, thereby bringing a significant population of our country out of the shadows.
Mr. Speaker, our borders are more secure than ever before. Border security is a serious issue, and we must continue to enforce our laws, but we can also enact a fair immigration system by working together. Providing appropriate protections to undocumented workers, including fair wages and safe working conditions, is the right thing to do to ensure the development of our economy and our Nation's security.
As the Congressman from the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, I understand the necessity of bipartisanship on this issue. My first days in office have been devoted to relationships and coalition-building on both sides of the aisle. I look forward to continuing those efforts, and I will not stop until we achieve a fair and comprehensive immigration reform plan. I will work closely with my friends in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and in the Congressional Black Caucus and with all of my colleagues who would like to join this effort. The voices of those in my district and across the country are being heard. It's time to make comprehensive immigration reform a reality.