BALTIMORE, MD — U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) today held a roundtable discussion on immigration reform with stakeholders of comprehensive immigration reform. On April 17, the Border Security Economic Opportunity and Immigration Act, S. 744, was introduced in the U.S. Senate. This measure, which has bipartisan support, would strengthen border security, create a fair legalization program, and create a workable system to ensure that employers only hire legal workers in the future.
Maryland has an estimated 275,000 undocumented immigrants, accounting for 4.6 percent of the state’s population and 6.2 percent of the labor force, according to a 2010 estimate by the Pew Research Hispanic Center. Senator Cardin has spoken out in support of comprehensive reform legislation that will ensure our borders are secure and develop a process that will give millions of undocumented immigrants an opportunity to emerge from the shadows and find a path toward citizenship if they want to stay in this country.
“There is bipartisan support for immigration reform and for creating a fair pathway to citizenship for the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants now living in the United States,” said Senator Cardin. “We should not forget that immigration reform also is about keeping families together and ensuring that immigration laws are respected.”
“We are happy to partner with Senator Cardin in hosting this important conversation. Compassionate and humane comprehensive immigration reform must provide a fair roadmap to citizenship for the 11 million aspiring Americans already living in this country, and continue to preserve family unity and ensure that refugees and asylum seekers are protected. These principles have long been a priority for Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) and Lutherans all across this country,” said Linda Hartke, President and CEO of LIRS.
“We are grateful for Senator Cardin’s leadership and his willingness to engage with constituents on immigration reform,” said Ms. Hartke. “Today’s roundtable further demonstrates the community’s strong desire that Congress pass a bill that honors the American values of family unity and inclusion.”
Senator Cardin has commended his Senate colleagues from both parties for coming together in a bipartisan effort to develop as framework for comprehensive immigration reform. The Senate is expected to take up immigration legislation in June.