Transcript: Democrats' Weekly Radio Response
Saturday , March 31, 2007
Good morning. I am Congressman Luis Gutierrez of Chicago.
This morning, I want to talk to you about an issue that I have worked hard on for the last 15 years: comprehensive immigration reform.
Last week, Representative Jeff Flake of Arizona and I presented an immigration reform bill in the House of Representatives, H.R. 1645, also known as the STRIVE ACT, by its initials in English.
It addresses the needs of our economy, the needs of our immigrant community, and the needs of those in charge of our homeland security.
Our current immigration system is not working. It is hampering businesses that need immigrant labor to grow. It is hurting families who are looking to provide for their loved ones. And it is harming communities that need new immigrants to remain vibrant and strong.
That is why the comprehensive immigration reform bill we introduced is all about security: national security; family security; and economic security.
Our bill — the STRIVE ACT — is about ending illegal immigration.
H.R. 1645 creates a system that allows people to come out of the shadows and work here legally and safely.
It regulates future flows of workers. And it greatly enhances our border security through a combination of improved cooperation, cutting-edge technology, and increased resources.
And rather than converting innocent workers in targets of the immigration police or raids, or wasting billions of dollars on failed strategies, H.R. 1645 offers real solutions to the challenges our community faces.
Our bill deals directly with the undocumented who are living, working and contributing to a better, more dynamic America.
It creates a system in which families can stay together and be strong.
It creates a system that would eliminate the exploitation and discrimination that immigrants suffer.
But, it also creates a system that is fair and just and reflects the enormous contributions immigrants make every day.
Today more than ever, immigration reform strikes at the very heart of what kind of nation we are — and what we strive to be.
H.R. 1645 ensures that our nation continues to welcome those who seek a better life. It ensures
that those who embody the entrepreneurial spirit, the drive, and the work ethic that has made America great can continue to strengthen the fabric of our American life.
Our challenge: to work together to be successful in getting H.R. 1645 passed.
If you agree, please contact your Representative in Congress.
I am Congressman Luis Gutierrez of Chicago.
Thank you for listening.