Senate Vote An Historic Step Toward Progress On Immigration

June 27 2013


Julian Teixeira
(202) 776-1812

It’s time for the House to decide between progress and obstruction

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the Senate delivered a solid bipartisan vote on the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013” (S. 744). The Gang of Eight was joined by 60 senators to approve sweeping legislation that overhauls the nation’s immigration system, provides a boost to the economy and includes a roadmap to earned legality and citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the country.

“Today’s vote is a milestone for all those who worked so hard to bring a long-overdue solution to our country’s broken immigration system after decades of contentious debate. While this is far from the ideal bill, the Senate has weighed in with a vote which leaves no doubt that a bipartisan, comprehensive approach that includes a path to legality and citizenship and that creates an immigration system for the 21st century is both desirable and achievable,” stated Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR (National Council of La Raza).

“We thank the Gang of Eight (Senators John McCain, R–Ariz.; Dick Durbin, D–Ill.; Marco Rubio, R–Fla.; Robert Menendez, D–N.J.; Lindsey Graham, R–S.C.; Charles Schumer, D–N.Y.; Jeff Flake, R–Ariz.; and Michael Bennet, D–Colo.) who worked tirelessly to craft legislation that could pass the Senate, and the vast majority of members who voted to advance a path forward.

“As with any compromise, this legislation included painful concessions and certainly puts our enforcement-heavy immigration policy into overdrive. But it also finally acknowledges that restoring the rule of law requires a legal immigration system that takes the legitimate traffic out of the black market, allows immigrants to arrive with visas rather than with smugglers and enables immigrants who are working and raising families in the U.S. to come forward, go through criminal background checks, get in the system and get on the books.

“As such, our community will continue to engage actively in this process, particularly to ensure that enforcement is accountable and smart, and to defend the roadmap to citizenship for aspiring Americans.

“Let me be very clear: Latino voters, who generated the game-changing momentum in this debate, will remember this vote. They will particularly remember those who stood with—and who stood against—our community and, most importantly, our country’s best interests. The question now is whether the House of Representatives will stand for progress or prevent it,” Murguía concluded.

NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. For more information on NCLR, please visit or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.