East County News Service
February 17, 2015 (Sacramento)—A clear partisan divide separates Congress on immigration issues. But in a rare show of bipartisan unity, California’s State Senate unanimously approved a strongly worded resolution asking Congress to provide undocumented immigrants with a path to citizenship.
Chris Jennewein, editor at Times of San Diego, observes, “ The language of the resolution is gracious and magnanimous, in marked contrast to the anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic venom on talk radio, in Internet chat rooms and even sometimes in the halls of the nation’s capitol.”
The resolution cites reasons showing why the Senators believe undocumented immigrants deserve an opportunity to become citizens. Those reasons include:
- “This country was built by immigrants seeking a better life.”
- “Immigrants are a vital and productive part of our state’s economy.”
- “They also represent a large share of our new small business owners and create economic prosperity and needed jobs for everyone.”
- “Keeping these families, business owners, and hard workers in the shadows of society serves no one.”
- “Comprehensive immigration reform should include a reasonable and timely path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who are already living and working in the United States.”
- “Immigration enforcement should continue to focus on criminals, not on hardworking immigrant families.”
- “Reform should offer permanent residency opportunities to international students in American universities who are highly trained and in high demand.”
The resolution was passed while Republicans in Congress are threatening to shut down Homeland Security and refuse to fund the agency unless President Obama’s immigrant reforms are repealed.
California’s resolution was authored by Republican Senator Andy Vidak from California’s Central Valley, who says the message to Congressional members is clear: “that the time is now to work together to address an issue that’s been ignored for more than 25 years.”
California has the most undocumented immigrants of any state in the nation, but legislators in both parties have come to a recognition that deporting 11 million people is both unrealistic and inhumane to families that would be torn apart. Instead, California’s Republican and Democratic Senators agree that offering an opportunity to earn citizenship is a more fair and viable option.