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In the early 1900s, my grandparents crossed an ocean in search of a chance to create a better life for their children. They knew that hard work would give them opportunities in the United States that they would not find anywhere else.
Like so many in this great country, I wouldn’t be here without a functioning immigration system.
But today that system is broken. It keeps hardworking people in the shadows. Many of them were brought here as children, have been here for decades, and were raised as Americans. Our broken system denies them the opportunity to work lawfully, travel freely, and build their share of the American dream. And at its worst, the system tears families apart.
Wherever I go in Northwest Oregon, I hear from small business owners, farmers, families, and community members: it’s time to fix our broken immigration system.
A comprehensive immigration reform bill will address the range of issues contributing to our broken system and acknowledge the 11 million people who are already here and are working hard, paying taxes, and raising their families. It’s time to overhaul our outdated and backlogged visa programs. And it’s time to give bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform a simple up-or-down vote in the U.S. House.
Last Congress, a strong bipartisan majority of U.S. Senators voted to grant dignity and hope to those lost in our system. Yet Speaker Boehner has never even given comprehensive reform a chance in the House, despite its widespread, bipartisan, popular support.
I know my grandparents would be proud.