May 22, 2013 NEWS RELEASE — Immigration Reform Victory in the Senate!

LIRS Hails Judiciary Committee Passage of Senate Immigration Reform Bill, S.744

Press Contact: Jon Pattee
(202) 591-5778, jpattee@lirs.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. May 22, 2013 — Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) welcomes yesterday’s landmark vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee to pass the bipartisan Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill, S.744.

“The Senate Judiciary Committee vote to pass S.744 marks a major bipartisan advance towards a more fair and welcoming set of immigration laws,” said LIRS President and CEO Linda Hartke. “This is a huge step towards what the majority of Americans are calling for: immigration reform that keeps families together and offers a roadmap to earned citizenship—because family unity is vital to our congregations and communities, and because reform is smart for our economy and country.”

The committee’s 13-5 vote, which followed three weeks of mark-up and the approval of more than 100 of some 300 amendments, means that S.744 (The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act) will now go to the full Senate for consideration.

“A number of amendments to S.744 that were adopted by the Senate Judiciary Committee will improve the treatment of unaccompanied children, strengthen protections for those detained for immigration purposes, and offer more fair and efficient processes for refugees and asylum seekers,” said Hartke.

For a detailed look at the amendments taken up by the committee, as well as in-depth information on parts of S.744 dealing with the roadmap to citizenship, humane enforcement, family unity, protection for vulnerable migrants, and protection for workers, see LIRS’s in-depth analyses.

“We were strongly encouraged by the Senate Judiciary Committee members’ vocal support for Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI)’s attempts to improve the opportunities for immigrant families to reunite,” Hartke said. “Although only one of the senator’s two amendments offered on May 21 relating to family unity was adopted, we will continue to work with lawmakers to improve the bill’s treatment of immigrant families.”

For the latest on the legislative process on Capitol Hill, see the LIRS blog series “Immigration Reform 2013: The Update.”

LIRS is nationally recognized for advocating on behalf of refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, immigrants in detention, families fractured by migration and other vulnerable populations, and for serving migrants through 60 grassroots legal and social service partners across the United States.