Quijano, Cryan, Caride, Jimenez & Prieto Measure Urging U.S. Immigration Reform Passes Assembly

(TRENTON) – The full Assembly on Thursday approved a measure (AR-142) sponsored by Assembly Democrats Annette Quijano, Joseph Cryan, Marlene Caride, Angelica Jimenez and Vincent Prieto urging Congress to pass legislation creating a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants currently residing in the United States.
The resolution was approved 57-12-6.
“Few things unite us more as a nation than the belief that America is the land of opportunity,” said Quijano (D-Union). “But for more recent immigrants, that axiom is slipping out of reach as we’ve failed to update our immigration laws to help them legally become productive, contributing members of our society. Nothing builds stronger families and a stronger economy than a workable path to citizenship that addresses the current face of our nation.”
The sponsors noted that United States immigration laws have not been updated in 20 years and there are few avenues available for legal immigration. Congress has discussed immigration reform, yet little progress has been made. Much of the concern surrounds the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently residing in the United States.
“America has a long and rich heritage of immigration but our current immigration system is broken,” said Cryan (D-Union). “Immigrants are faced with an insufficient numbers of visas for workers to support the U.S. labor force, arbitrary visa caps creating backlogs and separating families, exploitation by employers through wage and workplace violations, and inadequate government infrastructure to support the immigrant population. All of this needs to be addressed.”
“Comprehensive immigration reform must provide law-abiding, tax paying immigrant workers and their families with an opportunity to obtain legal permanent residency and eventually U.S. citizenship through fair and reasonable requirements,” said Caride (D-Bergen/Passaic). “It must also be mindful of the rights afforded by our Constitution while providing workers with the ability to petition for permanent residency.”
Several immigration reform plans have been introduced over the years, but Congress needs to introduce comprehensive immigration reform to address all ages of the illegal immigrant population.
“The federal government must take action to reform our immigration laws, particularly by incorporating President Obama’s Executive Order into law which grants work permits and permission to stay in this country for anyone brought here before they were 16 years of age,” said Jimenez (D-Bergen/Hudson). “By establishing a path to citizenship for all immigrants who have not committed criminal offenses, we can help protect and strengthen families everywhere.”
Our nation’s immigration system must effectively and fairly regulate how immigrants are allowed to enter, work, and live in the United States. Comprehensive immigration reform policies must accomplish and balance several goals that are in the best interest of the nation, restoring public confidence in a system of laws that promote national security and public safety.
“The federal government has the exclusive authority to develop and enforce immigration policy under our constitution,” said Prieto (D-Bergen/Hudson). “It’s well past time for Congress to take this issue up seriously. In doing so, they must focus on comprehensive reform that creates a realistic pathway to citizenship for law abiding immigrants while also strengthening our national security and the public safety of our communities and neighborhoods.”
Duly authenticated copies of the resolution, signed by Speaker Oliver, will now be transmitted to the President and Vice President of the United States, the Majority and Minority Leader of the United States Senate, and the Speaker and Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, and to each member of Congress elected from the State of New Jersey.