Attorney General Gansler Urges Congress to Act on Immigration Reform
35 attorneys general participate in bipartisan effort
Baltimore, MD ( April 9, 2013) -
Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, joined by a bipartisan group of 34 other state and territorial attorneys general, today wrote to U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and congressional leaders to convey support for federal immigration reform that improves pathways to citizenship, supports families and businesses, keeps our communities safe and protects our borders.
"Immigration has been a vital driver of the American economy since before its founding, yet our current system stifles lawful immigration and the economic benefits it can bring to both businesses and workers," said Attorney General Gansler. "For our states to be competitive, we need our immigration system to work as an engine of growth, not a set of brakes."
The attorneys general stated their strong support for immigration policies that "prioritize keeping families together," and that "provide a sensible means to deal with immigrants who are currently in the country without legal status but are of good character, pay taxes and are committed to continuing to contribute to our society."
The attorneys general also stressed that our immigration system must foster the strengths of both businesses and workers:
Our immigration system must be flexible enough to address the needs of businesses in the various states, with state input, while protecting the interests of workers. This includes a visa system that is both responsive and effective in meeting the demands of our economy. It should also acknowledge the beneficial economic contributions immigrants make as workers, tax payers, and consumers.
They also stressed the importance of protecting public safety in the immigration context, through targeting serious crime, safeguarding witnesses and victims, and addressing the national security issues created by our porous borders. Focus on these priorities will "ensure the protection of our communities and the integrity of our national borders."
Recognizing that immigration policy is primarily a federal responsibility, the attorneys general pledged to lend their voice and expertise to federal legislators as they move forward in this process.
To view the entire Immigration Reform letter from Attorney General Gansler and his colleagues, visit: http://www.oag.state.md.us/Press/Immigration_letter.pdf