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Immigration Reform Legislation Introduced in the U.S. Senate; Includes Path to Citizenship and Unprecedented Federal Support for Immigrant Integration

The nationwide effort to overhaul our nation’s broken immigration system in 2013 has taken a big step forward.  A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators has officially unveiled the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.

Major provisions of the bill include:

  • Creation of a process that will enable qualified undocumented U.S. residents to earn citizenship within 13 years,
    after paying fines, passing a background check, and demonstrating progress toward learning English;
  • Opportunities for DREAMers, agricultural workers, and Temporary Protected Status grantees to attain permanent
  • residence and U.S. citizenship on an expedited timeline;
  • Changes to family reunification process that will reduce wait times for some, but make it harder for others to qualify
  • for visas;
  • Allocation of increased federal government and private resources to ensuring the successful integration of new
  • Americans;
  • Authorization of new employment visas for both high- and low-skilled workers, precise numbers of which will
  • depend on the available supply of qualified American workers and employer demand;
  • Prohibition of access to federal public benefits, including Affordable Care Act-created subsidized health insurance
  • and tax breaks, for provisional residents; and
  • Enhancement of border security, mandatory use by employers of the E-Verify employment eligibility
  • confirmation system, and installation of an entry-exit tracking system at all sea and air entry points.


Senate Committee Hearings and Markup

The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to hold hearings on this legislation over the course of the coming two weeks. 
The Committee’s markup of the bill will begin in early May 2013, and is likely to continue for two to four weeks. 
Time has been requested for debate and consideration of the bill on the Senate floor in June 2013.

For more information on the NALEO Educational Fund’s policy development activities on comprehensive immigration reform, please contact Max Sevillia, Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs, at msevillia@naleo.org or 202-546-2536.



NALEO Educational Fund has prepared a variety of resources on the bill to help inform your work in this arena. 



The NALEO Educational Fund believes that comprehensive immigration reform provides an unprecedented opportunity to enact policies that reduce barriers to naturalization and promote the integration of newcomers. For this reason, we are making advocacy on these issues a top priority, and we have provided resources for your work in this arena

For more information please contact:

Max Sevillia
Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs
NALEO Educational Fund
Tel: 202-546-2536
Email: msevillia@naleo.org




Your Voice is Needed Now in Support of Immigration Reform

Broad immigration reform legislation negotiations are advancing in Congress, and now is the time to make clear to our federal representatives that our communities support common-sense measures that provide fairness, promote family unity, grow the economy, secure the border, and expand access to naturalization and English and civics education for newcomers.

The eight Senators who are leading efforts to develop an immigration reform bill are nearing agreement, and are expected to introduce legislation soon after they return from Congress’ Easter recess, which lasts from March 23rd through April 7th. In the House of Representatives, leading members of both parties continue to meet in pursuit of common goals and bipartisan legislative proposals, and recent media stories report they are close to an agreement.

The Boards of NALEO and the NALEO Educational Fund have long been committed to ensuring that our nation fixes its broken immigration system, and our vision for broad immigration reform is set forth in principles [click here] which guide our assessment of legislative proposals. Under our principles, we believe that any legislation must provide a path to citizenship for qualified undocumented residents, with fair and reasonable requirements. Thus, immigrants should not be required to endure an unreasonably long wait to earn permanent residence. In addition, we believe broad immigration reform legislation must reunite families and reduce visa backlogs. We advocate a path to citizenship for DREAMers, certain qualified agricultural workers, and Temporary Protected Status grantees.

Take Action During the Congressional Recess!

With a bill anticipated in the coming weeks, Congress’ work on shaping immigration reform will be open to general Congressional deliberation. It is critically important that Senators and U.S. Representatives begin this process having received a strong show of support from their constituents for responsible, pro-reform provisions. The recess period, when Members of Congress are at home in their districts, is the perfect time to express such support.

Contact Your Representative:

As a Latino elected official or civic leader, it is important that your voice is heard on this critical issue. Please consider using this sample letter [click here] to communicate in writing with your Senators and Representative. You can find your Senators’ contact information by clicking here, and you can find your U.S. Representative’s contact information by clicking here.

Introduce a Resolution:

If you serve on a legislative body, we encourage you to consider introducing and gathering support for a resolution in support of broad immigration reform. Here is a sample resolution [click here] you may use as a template. You can also use any language from our Board’s immigration principles that you find relevant. Please send a copy of any resolution your jurisdiction enacts to Erin Hustings at ehustings@naleo.org.

Social Media and Other Resources:

In addition, we have also prepared talking points [click here] and these two graphics [click here for first, click here for second] that can be posted to Facebook and other social media sites to help you make the case for immigration reform. If you have a Twitter account, you can use the hashtag #naleocir and one of these suggested tweets, "It’s time. Make immigration reform a reality in 2013!" or "The clock is ticking. It’s time to make immigration reform a reality!". You may find a pro-immigration reform event or town hall meeting happening in your area on these Calendars of Events [click here]; we encourage you to share information about events you are planning with allies by entering details here.

NALEO's Principles on
Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Our immigration policies must restore public confidence in a system of laws that promote national security and public safety. In addition, these policies must recognize that immigrants have made invaluable contributions to the progress of the United States, and that they continue to enrich the social, economic, cultural and civic life of our country. Our policies must also recognize the important role that immigrant workers and their families play in the future growth of our nation. In order to best ensure our nation’s security and public safety, we must utilize strong, sound and humane measures to enforce our immigration laws. Thus, we believe that a balanced approach to comprehensive immigration reform must be accomplished in accordance with the following principles: Read More... [PDF]

For more information please contact:

Erin Hustings
Sr. Policy Analyst
NALEO Educational Fund
Tel: 202-546-2536
Email: ehustings@naleo.org

© National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund