The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Ali Jost,
(202) 730-7159

SEIU Statement on Introduction of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform - American Security and Prosperity Act (CIR-A.S.A.P)

“Today We Are One Step Closer to Passing the Smart Immigration Reform that American Workers Need”


Today, Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) joined Representatives of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Asian and Pacific Americans Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus to introduce the "Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security Act and Prosperity" (CIR A.S.A.P.) in the U.S. House of Representatives. In response to the bill's introduction, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Executive Vice President Eliseo Medina issued the following statement:

"Thanks to the direction of Rep. Gutierrez and a diverse group of Congressional leaders, today we are one step closer to passing the smart immigration reform that American workers need. After years of delay, broken promises and political logjams, the urgency is greater than ever to get immigration reform done right; to get it done quickly; and to make sure it works for America.

"Every day Congress delays, today's dysfunctional system further drives down wages, costs taxpayers, devastates communities, and further undermines the rule of law. Until Congress passes comprehensive reforms, workers will continue to be pitted against each other-denied the opportunity to unite their strength and demand the labor and civil rights protections we need to lift our economy and raise living standards for everyone. This is unacceptable.

"The American public knows that short-sighted enforcement tactics won't begin to solve the problem at hand. The only way to ensure that every job in this country is filled by a legal permanent resident is to get undocumented immigrants out of the underground economy, into the system and under the rule of law. Done right, comprehensive immigration reform will raise living standards for all workers, strengthens our economy, and restores the rule of law for the long term. Now is the time to get it done right.

"Though I have not yet had time to study all of the details, it appears that Representatives Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) has crafted a sensible and realistic solution to our long-festering immigration problems, one that promises to restore order, end worker exploitation, and create a fair, workable immigration system. Rep. Gutierrez is committed to solving this problem, and has devoted countless hours to the issue, listening to immigrants, business, labor, even those who oppose immigration reform, and it shows in this bill. It would be a great day for America's workers if many of the ideas in this bill were to become law.

"SEIU congratulates Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) for stepping up to the plate to launch the first comprehensive immigration legislation of the year. As Congress starts a new debate - for the good of our economy and our nation - let's hope we can finally hit a home run."

With 2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers--not just corporations and CEOs--benefit from today's global economy.