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Hudson Valley Press


November 13th, 2013

Local community leaders rally in support of immigration reform



Newburgh -  Joined by dozens of businesses, farmers, and community leaders, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) called on Speaker John Boehner and the House of Representatives to allow a vote on comprehensive immigration reform legislation before the end of the year. Earlier this year, Rep. Maloney joined as an original co-sponsor of the comprehensive immigration reform bill, H.R. 15, in the House of Representatives. With the two dozen Republicans who have expressed support for reform that includes a path to citizenship, the House could pass comprehensive immigration reform if Speaker Boehner would allow a vote. In June, the Senate acted in a bipartisan way – with a vote of 68 to 32 – to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

“Our immigration system is broken and the failed policies of the past have proven unrealistic and ineffective, yet despite bipartisan support, Speaker Boehner wants to continue to kick the can down the road. We’ve seen the unity of leaders in government, business, labor, agriculture and our faith communities who have come together in support of a commonsense solution. Now is the time that the House should come together to support a bipartisan plan that will reduce our deficit, grow our economy, secure our borders, and create an earned pathway to citizenship,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. 

“As an immigrant who came to America when I was a teenager, I have learned to appreciate the value of people who come here to make a better life for themselves and their families. I support President Obama and Congressman Maloney in their efforts to have the United States Congress move forward with a common sense bill that will help the hard working immigrants who need a legal status to stay, because we will all benefit from the contributions they make to our country. The time is now; we need everyone to stand up and be counted in favor of this bill,” said Assemblyman Frank Skartados.

“There is no question that the current immigration system is outdated and works against family values and human rights. We support Rep. Maloney’s efforts to move the reform process forward, and encourage his fellow Representatives to do the same. We need a new immigration system that supports family unity, protects workers’ rights, offers a path to citizenship, and curbs the inhumane and unsustainable emphasis on enforcement and militarization of our borders,” said Betsy Palmieri, Executive Director of the Hudson Valley Community Coalition.

“I commend Congressman Maloney for bringing attention to this important matter.  There must be a way to provide hard working immigrants who contribute so much to our communities with a path toward legal status and ultimately citizenship.  The time is now for real immigration reform,” said Jennifer Friedman, the Executive Director of the Pace Community Law Practice.

“Achieving successful immigration reform during this Congressional session is the highest priority for New York’s family farmers and we appreciate Congressman Maloney’s rally today to highlight this critical issue. The fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy products that are grown in the Hudson Valley will be threatened if we can’t find a way to allow our current, skilled employees to continue the hard work of planting and harvesting our food, and a way to allow temporary legal workers into the country in the future. New York’s 36,000 farms urge the House of Representatives to take up immigration reform now,” said Dean Norton, President of New York Farm Bureau.

“The current humanitarian crisis brought about by our broken immigration system is completely untenable. Every day, families in our communities are being torn apart by immigration enforcement actions that do nothing to solve the root causes of migration or to create thriving local economies. Due to widespread fear of detention and deportation among immigrant workers, our organization encounters rampant workers’ rights violations that ultimately harm the entire US workforce by driving down wages and compromising workers’ health and safety,” said Emma Kreyche, Worker Justice Center of New York.



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