Hyattsville, MD – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) met today with community leaders from across Prince George’s and Montgomery counties in Maryland for a roundtable on immigration reform. Hosted by CASA de Maryland, the roundtable discussion provided an opportunity for Senator Cardin to hear from key stakeholders in the immigration debate and to share the latest proposals coming from Washington. The event follows the first week of deliberation by the Senate Judiciary Committee of comprehensive immigration reform legislation (S. 744). It also comes just days after a group in the House of Representatives announced that they had reached a bipartisan agreement on immigration reform.
“We need to seize this unprecedented opportunity to pass real, bipartisan immigration reform. We cannot do this in pieces; it must be a comprehensive effort that allows for a fair pathway to citizenship for the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants now living in the United States.
“Now that the Senate is moving forward on a bipartisan plan and Members of the House of Representatives have developed a bipartisan plan, there is real hope that we can achieve reforms that 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. We also should not forget that immigration reform also is about keeping families together and ensuring that immigration laws are respected.”
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.
CASA of Maryland is a community organization that was founded in 1985 by Central American refugees and North Americans. CASA’s primary mission is to work with the community to improve the quality of life and fight for equal treatment and full access to resources and opportunities for low-income Latinos and their families. CASA also works with other low-income immigrant communities and organizations, makes its programs and activities available to them, and advocates for social, political, and economic justice for all low-income communities.