National League of Cities (NLC) President Marie Lopez Rogers, mayor, Avondale, AZ responds to the introduction of the immigration reform bill:
"Today has been long in coming. Cities have advocated for fixing our nation's broken immigration system for many years. For too long the badly performing system has placed numerous financial and social strains on our local communities and created obstacles to helping immigrants fully contribute economically, as well as culturally, to our nation.
"We commend the gang of eight for their hard work on this issue and their commitment to a commonsense approach to comprehensive immigration reform. We are encouraged by the bipartisan nature of the legislation and hope that it will help carry the process to a swift and successful conclusion.
"While we will wait to comment on specific proposals in the legislation as the process plays out, NLC will be working to make sure the unique needs of our nation's cities and towns are reflected in the bill. The nation has already waited too long for reform."
NLC calls on the enacting of comprehensive immigration reform that: fortifies border security and enforcement; recognizes the human and civil rights of citizens and non-citizens; strengthens penalties for employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers; creates an admission program for temporary workers to qualify for legal permanent residency; includes local governments in a integration strategy for new immigrants, provides fiscal support for city and state governments that disproportionately shoulder the costs of the current immigration system; and establishes a legalization process for undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States.
The National League of Cities 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.