The Republican National Committee passed a resolution calling on Congress to pass immigration reform legislation.
While it may sound like Democrats and Republicans finally found common ground on the contentious issue, the RNC’s resolution did not call for a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the country. Leading immigration advocacy groups United We Dream and America’s Voice denounced the resolution, which called on Congress to create a new work permit program that specifically excludes citizenship. The permit “would not result in an application for citizenship nor any family members enter in the U.S.”
Cristina Jimenez, Managing Director of the largest immigrant youth network in the country United We Dream, called the resolution “un-American” and “wrong” because it did not include a pathway to citizenship.
“We are disappointed in the RNC’s refusal to step up and lead on immigration and their insistence on creating a permanent underclass in our nation. In no time in history has a second-class in America been something to strive for; today is no different,” Jimenez said. “We reject their approach and are looking to both Republicans and Democrats in Congress to make real immigration reform that creates a path to citizenship, keeps families together, and ends these senseless raids and deportations a reality.”
The resolution calls on Congress to create a special legal status for young Dreamers brought to America by their parents.
Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice said that the RNC’s resolution essentially created a permanent underclass in America.
“The RNC autopsy got it right but the RNC resolution got it wrong. The autopsy is right that the GOP’s position on immigration has become a litmus test for Latino voters. But it got it horribly wrong when the resolution tells Latino immigrants they can work hard and contribute much but that it’s a closed door when it comes to earning citizenship,” Sharry said in a statement.
Meanwhile, one of Washington’s top Republicans House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte said that there are “good possibilities” of an immigration reform bill passing during this year’s congressional session.
“First you have to assure there’s not going to be another wave of illegal immigration,” he said.
“We have to again, restore the trust of American people by saying that the law is going to be enforced,” Goodlatte said. “We need new laws on employment verification, on entry exit visas system, on allowing state and local law enforcement to have a clear statutorily defined role.”
The House is only in session for nine days in September, during which it will have to deal with spending bills to avoid a government shutdown.