Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) joined members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) at a press conference on the economic benefits of immigration reform and called on Republican leadership to allow a vote on a comprehensive immigration reform bill this year. Below is a transcript of his remarks:
“Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, my good friend Ruben Hinojosa. My other colleagues who are here who head up a variety of our Caucuses. And I’m joined by the Chairman of the Democratic Caucus, who will be speaking after I speak. And I am speaking on behalf of Leader Pelosi and myself.
“Immigration reform is a high priority of the Democratic Caucus. It is a high priority for the President of the United States. It was a high priority for the United States Senate that passed it overwhelmingly, because all of them know the immigration system that now operates is broken. How do I know that? One of the reasons is Mr. Cantor has said so, the Republican Majority Leader. Others have said so as well.
“We need to address on a priority basis reforming our immigration system. And the House needs to respond, as the Senate has responded, with a comprehensive, bipartisan, immigration bill which provides for a path to citizenship.
“America is citizened by people who ... came here, their parents came here. I’m one of those, my father immigrated to America at the age of 32 in 1934. I am a first generation Danish-American. But whether it was your grandfather, your great-grandfather, your great-great-grandfather – unless you’re a Native American, you’re an immigrant, and we want to make sure America continues to be energized by those who come to this country to [not only] seek opportunities but to create energy and drive and entrepreneurial spirit in America.
“That’s what immigrants have always brought to this country, and that’s what Americans need to continue. That’s why the business community and the labor community are united. That’s why farm workers, and farmers are united. That’s why the faith community is united in saying let’s get immigration reform done.
“I think the only group that is not saying let’s get immigration reform done seems to be the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. Let us respond to the overwhelmingly bipartisan, broad consensus in this country of the American people reflected in polling data to get this country moving with immigration reform.
“Every analysis says that it will grow our economy, grow jobs, grow our gross domestic product, and will help do what Americans want done, and that is bring jobs to America, grow jobs in America, have jobs for our people. So I am so pleased to join my colleagues here on behalf of Leader Pelosi and myself – Xavier Becerra, Congressman Becerra, will speak for our entire Caucus – in saying bring this bill to the Floor. Bring an immigration reform bill to the Floor. We will pass it. Let us go to conference as the Republicans demanded that we go – after, by the way, we had demanded it for 5 ½ months without response – to conference on the budget. Let us pass a bill, go to conference. Meet with the Senate. And bring immigration reform as a reality to America and let’s do it now.
“And I’m pleased to yield to my dear friend, the leader of the Democratic Caucus, Xavier Becerra from California.”