Irish Echo (New York), Sept. 23, 2009
Congressman Luis Gutierrez is to introduce an immigration reform bill in the House of Representatives sometime in the next few weeks.
The announcement was immediately welcomed by Sheila Gleeson, executive director of the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers.
“The estimated 50,000 Irish immigrants, who followed in the footsteps of their families, friends and neighbors across the Atlantic, have been living in the shadows for too long” said Boston-based Gleeson.
“It is time to fix our immigration system to allow contributing, taxpaying immigrants an opportunity to contribute fully to the country that they have come to call home,” she said.
“We encourage all of our representatives to step up to the plate in support of immigrants who contribute so much to our communities and our economy. We expect our elected representatives to engage in a vigorous, but civil, discourse and to work to develop a caring and compassionate solution to the crisis of 12 million immigrants living outside of the mainstream of our society, the statement added.
“The acrimony of the healthcare debate and scapegoating of immigrants has underscored the need for a comprehensive immigration solution. There is little disagreement that our system is broken, there is wide acknowledgement that deporting millions of immigrants is neither practical nor cost effective; we need a smart, just and sensible solution from our political leaders,” the statement concluded.