Pelosi Remarks at Press Conference Marking One-Year Anniversary of Senate Passage of Immigration Reform

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks today at a press conference marking the one-year anniversary of the bipartisan passage of comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate.  Below are the Leader’s remarks:

“Thank you very much, Leader Reid, for your strong statement, for your great leadership.  One year ago, as you mentioned, one year ago this week the Senate passed a strong, bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform piece of legislation.  For one year, we have been waiting, urging, cooperating with the Republicans in the House to bring a bill to the floor.  They didn’t want to bring the Senate bill to the floor.  We suggested a compromise bill – H.R. 15.  Many of the cosponsors are here now.  They rejected that.  We said: Just do it any way you want, but bring a bill to the floor.  Give us a vote.

“People across America – the religious community – have traveled the country, had starvation fasts, all the rest, to make the point of how important this is.  That was the bibles.  The badges – the law enforcement community have come here and testified over and over again about how important this is.  The business community – as Leader Reid has said – supports this legislation.  You can make a business case for it.  If you have agriculture in your state, if you have technology, if you have hospitality – the list goes on and on why this is needed for the economy of our country.  It will, as the Senator said, reduce the deficit by about a trillion dollars over the next 10 years; a couple hundred billion in the near-term.

“It’s about our values as a country – that we want people who are here to have rights and have a path to legalization and citizenship.  It’s about a sense of decency to other human beings, as President Bush has spoken of – President George W. Bush, who was a leader on immigration – when he said: When we have this debate, we should do so with respect for the people that we are talking about.

“So whether it’s about the constant reinvigoration of America that the immigrant community is, whether it’s about our values of respecting people, whether it’s about our economy and the need for comprehensive immigration reform, there are so many reasons why today – on this one-year anniversary – we say to the Speaker: Give us a sign.  Give us a vote.

“If we don’t have some indication in the month of July that there will be a hearing, that there will be a bill scheduled for the floor, it seems that there’s little chance for us to pass such a bill.  I’m hopeful.  I believe that the Speaker is of good faith on this.  The Senate has acted; long overdue for the House to do so.

“We have many Senators and Members who are here, but because we have votes on the floor, I’m going to yield to Dick Durbin – a champion on immigration reform, the leader of the fight for the DREAMers in the Congress and comprehensive immigration reform.”

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