STATEMENT FROM CONSERVATIVE LEADERS ABOUT PENDING IMMIGRATION LEGISLATION

For Immediate Release: May 8, 2013

“President Obama and the liberals in the Senate have planned for a long time to use executive power and push legislation that would legalize those immigrants here illegally quickly with no border security, no interior security, and no reform of our legal immigration process.  Given President Obama's history of executive action, simply opposing immigration reform should not be the conservative response to this problem.  We believe conservatives should be leading the way on this issue by supporting legislation that upholds conservative principles.

Conservatives are ready to support immigration reform, so long as it is pro-economic growth, strengthens families, fosters assimilation and prevents another wave of illegal immigration from happening again.  The immigration bill being taken up in the Senate is an important starting point in the effort to improve what even those opposed to the bill agree is a failed and broken system.  The bill includes triggers to insure border security and interior security before any immigrant is given permanent legal status.  It includes a guest worker program that moves us toward a merit-based system.  Notably, these are all key features that President Obama has vociferously opposed and undermined during his four years in office and are provisions that conservatives have been advocating for decades.

This legislation is not perfect.  We do not expect the bill without amendments to pass, and we encourage good-faith amendments to improve the legislation.  We are encouraged by the starting point that Senator Rubio and his Republican colleagues have gotten leading liberals in the Senate to agree to.  We believe they are working in good faith to improve the bill and we support a fair, open and transparent legislative process.  We ask that conservatives in the Senate work to improve the legislation.  America needs immigration reform.  As the Democrats run the Senate, the ball is in their court.  They can work with conservatives to improve the legislation to foster growth and security and help be a part of solving the problem.  Or they can undermine it, by putting partisan politics over sound public policy.”

Note: Institutional Affiliations Listed Below for Identification Purposes Only

Al Cardenas Chairman, American Conservative Union
Alfonso Aguilar LatinoPartnerships.org
Lawson Bader President, Competitive Enterprise Institute
Brad Bailey Texas Immigration Solution
Jeff Bell American Principles Project
David Bier Immigration Policy Analyst, Competitive Enterprise Institute
Frank Cannon President, American Principles Project
Linda Chavez Chairman, Center for Equal Opportunity
Former Senator Norm Coleman Hogan Lovells US LLP
Larry Cirignano President, Faithful Catholic Citizens
Tom Donelson Chairman, Americas PAC
Diana Furchtgott-Roth Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
Carlos Gutierrez Republicans for Immigration Reform
Colin Hanna President, Let Freedom Ring
Doug Holtz-Eakin President, American Action Forum
Deal Hudson President, Pennsylvania Catholics Network
Tamar Jacoby Immigration Works USA
Dr. Tim Kane, Ph.D. Chief Economist, Hudson Institute
Jennifer S. Korn Executive Director, Hispanic Leadership Network
Arthur B. Laffer Laffer Associate
Dr. Richard Land President, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
Mario H. Lopez President, Hispanic Leadership Fund
Fred Malek Chairman, American Action Forum
Grover Norquist President, Americans for Tax Reform
Ralph Reed Chairman, Faith & Freedom Coalition
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez President, NHCLC Hispanic Evangelical Association
John Shadegg Former U.S. Congressman; Steptoe & Johnson, LLP
Mat Staver President and Founder, Liberty Counsel
Peter Wehner Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center
Thomas S. Winter HumanEvents.com
Paul Wolfowitz Scholar, American Enterprise Institute