Assembly Joint Resolution 37 and 15, authored by Assemblymember Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), were approved by the Assembly Floor with a 45-17 (AJR 37) and 44-24 (AJR 15) party line vote and will now be transmitted to the United States Congress and President Barack Obama.
AJR 37 urges the President of the United States and Congress to take a comprehensive and workable approach to solving our nation’s broken immigration system by creating a path to citizenship for the millions of immigrants working and living in the United States.
“It’s been twenty-four years since Congress last addressed this issue comprehensively,” said Assemblymember de León (D-Los Angeles). “Now, we’re in 2010 and we still don’t have immigration reform. Our communities are being fractured and torn apart by a dysfunctional immigration system that does not work. We need immigration reform and we need it now for our economic and national security. We shouldn’t have to wait any longer or for any other states to follow Arizona’s regressive stand before Washington finally acts.”
California is home to 2.9 million undocumented immigrants that live and work in our state. According to a study by the University of Southern California, comprehensive immigration reform would yield at least $1.5 trillion in added GDP over 10 years. A similar study conducted by the University of California Los Angeles indicates that in the short and long term period California would see a $16 billion boost as a result of these reforms.
AJR 15 compliments AJR 37’s formal request by urging Congress and the President to pass and sign the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA). According to US Census, there are approximately 35,000 bi-national, same-sex couples living in the United States. There are currently at least 16 countries with immigration policies that allow the sponsorship of same-sex partners: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Israel, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
“Hundreds of American families are being torn apart by deportation orders, while others have resorted to living in exile,” said De León. “This tremendous inequality is fundamentally un-American and Congress must take immediate steps to protect all families.”
The UAFA would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to add same-sex “permanent partners” to the list of family members that a U.S. citizen or legal resident could sponsor for immigration.
AJR 37 and AJR 15 urge the President to follow through with his commitment to reform the nation’s dysfunctional and antiquated immigration system. Any further delays would continue breaking up families and our communities.
AJR 37 and AJR 15 have cleared both the Senate and the Assembly and will now be transmitted to the United States Congress and President Barack Obama.