On the heels of Presdient Obama’s statement today that there may not be an “appetite to tackle immigration this year” the Assembly passed Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR) 37 by Assemblymember Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) by a partisan vote of 43 to 21. The measure urges the President and Congress to take immediate action to develop a comprehensive and workable approach to improving the nation’s immigration system.
“Comprehensive immigration reform is long overdue and Congress and the President need to finally act on their promise and pass that reform,” said De León. “Washington, D.C. cannot keep punting this important issue to a time when it’s most convenient for them. This isn’t about convenience for Washington insiders. It’s about what’s right and what’s necessary for many of the hard working families in California, and more broadly California’s economy.”
AJR 37 declares the current immigration system is broken. It separates families, reduces the effectiveness of national security programs, contributes to labor abuses, and creates long backlogs for families seeking naturalization. Further, it neglects the hard work and financial contributions immigrants make to our country.
The resolution underscores that immigrants and their children constitute nearly one-half of California’s population and contribute to local economies. One in eleven workers in California is an undocumented immigrant, and immigrants are a vibrant, productive, and vital part of the state’s growing economy, diverse cultural fabric, and changing demographics. Immigrant worker populations in California are concentrated in a variety of sectors, including leisure and hospitality, construction, food and agriculture, service, transportation, and textile sectors.
“We want a plan that will fix our broken immigration system and not just slap on another band-aid that doesn’t get us anywhere,” said De León. “We want a plan that will be more that will serve as a beacon of hope for hardworking immigrants.”
AJR 37 next moves to the Senate Rules Committee for referral to policy committee.