(WASHINGTON, DC)- Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid issued the following statement today:
“This week hundreds of people from across the country, representing a broad coalition of religious, ethnic, immigrant and labor organizations, have traveled to Washington, D.C. to speak with Members of Congress about the need for comprehensive immigration reform.
“In May, Senators McCain and Kennedy, as well as Representatives Kolbe, Flake, and Gutierrez, introduced a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform proposal. I am hopeful that their efforts will lead to the enactment of comprehensive immigration reform this year, so that we can address the gap between our immigration laws and reality. I strongly believe in effective enforcement of our immigration laws, but first we must ensure that these laws are realistic, humane, and fair.
“At this time of heightened concern about our national security, the federal government needs to know who is living in our country and who is crossing our borders. Millions of immigrants are forced to live in the shadows because of our broken immigration system. Even victims of Katrina who are lawfully present are afraid to get critically needed help for fear of immigration consequences.
“There is a broad, bipartisan consensus that our immigration system is broken and that reform is long overdue. Before Katrina hit, it looked like the Senate would act on immigration this fall. I hope that once we have addressed the immediate needs of the victims of Katrina, we will be able to turn our attention back to this other humanitarian crisis.”