Washington, D.C. - After Speaker Boehner and the Republican leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives released their "standards for immigration reform" document earlier today, National League of Cities President Chris Coleman, mayor, Saint Paul, Minn. released the following statement:
"The nation's city leaders agree with Speaker Boehner that the country's immigration system is broken and Washington's failure to fix it is hurting our economy. We hope the Speaker's actions today will quicken the pace and start the overhaul of a broken immigration system that too often tears apart families, allows cultural misunderstandings to threaten our communities and holds back economic growth by keeping a substantial population from being able to fully participate.
"While these principles are a good first step and show that compromise may be possible, a final immigration reform measure must include a path to citizenship even as we continue to strengthen border enforcement. For far too long, our residents have toiled in the shadows and large sections of local communities have been unable to trust their governments. Our cities and residents will not receive the full economic benefit of immigration reform unless we fully and completely integrate them into our communities. Creating a second class of Americans who are unable to fully participate in community life would be counterproductive.
"We urge both sides of the political aisle to work together and compromise to bring a bill to the floor this year that includes a pathway to earned citizenship and support for cities to integrate immigrants into their communities."
The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.