Group calls for reform that improves immigration system, keeps communities safe and protects borders
(DES MOINES, Iowa) Attorney General Tom Miller today joined a bipartisan group of 31 state attorneys general in supporting comprehensive federal immigration reform.
The attorneys general sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and congressional leaders, urging immigration reform legislation that improves our nation’s immigration system, keeps communities safe and protects our borders.
A bipartisan group of eight senators, which had asked business and labor interests to agree on compromise language, is expected to reach to an immigration reform agreement as early as the end of the week.
“Immigration reform is such an important federal issue with many implications for our nation’s security, our economy and our society,” Miller said. “In particular, immigration policy affects our nation’s agricultural sector and significantly impacts our state’s economy.”
The attorneys general stated their support for a law enforcement strategy that focuses on public safety, targets serious crime, safeguards witnesses and victims, and considers national security implications for porous borders.
“Immigration reform starts with securing our borders, but should also include a path to citizenship,” Miller said.
The attorneys general further urged a reasonable and predictable regulatory environment that considers the interests of, and the unintended consequences to, businesses, workers and consumers. A broader reform effort should eventually include a way to accurately, reliably and affordably determine who is permitted to work, ensuring an adequate labor force for a growing economy.
While the attorneys general recognize that immigration policy is primarily a federal responsibility, they pledged to lend their voice and expertise to federal legislators as they move forward in this process.
Attorneys general in the District of Columbia and three U.S. territories also joined the effort.