Time for comprehensive immigration reform

Washington State recently passed legislation, The Dream Act, ensuring that students who seek a college education have a chance at scholarships to fulfill their dreams. It’s a step in the right direction, but we need to do more. It’s time for Congress to act for our entire country and create a fair pathway to citizenship.

Anyone who lives in Washington knows how much our economy and daily life depends on the hard work and contributions of immigrants. American businesses and our economy relies on the work performed by immigrants – work that many others elect not to do.

So, we need to make immigration reform a priority and Americans are on board. Seventy-eight percent of Americans support securing our borders and 63 percent support a pathway to citizenship for individuals who are presently residents (according to a poll by Forward.US). These numbers indicate an overwhelming majority for both goals, as well as others like a guest worker program that would have huge benefits for Washington’s important high-tech and agricultural sectors.

Our government already spends tax dollars educating children brought to the U.S. without documents. It is time to develop a way to legal status or citizenship for the betterment of our society and economy.

Too much is at stake for our economic future and job growth to not act. The federal government needs to support employers by creating access to the labor they need, helping to propel our economy, and the potential for more growth.

Members of Congress who have failed to support meaningful immigration reform and would rather play partisan politics are harming our interests. Creating a consistent path to citizenship is the right thing to do and it is time for our representatives to move forward with comprehensive immigration reform now.

For more on this topic, see Washington Dream Act Coalition and FWD.us.

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