DNC Statement on Third Anniversary of Senate Overwhelmingly Passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform

WASHINGTON – DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and DNC Vice Chair Maria Elena Durazo issued the following statement marking the third anniversary of the Senate’s passage of S.744, a bipartisan bill to fix America’s broken immigration system that would have better allocated immigration enforcement resources, dedicated a historic level of funding to border security, and made it possible for immigrants without a criminal record and with strong roots in this country to get on a path to legalization and citizenship:

“Three years ago today, the United States Senate overwhelming passed S.744, a bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform bill. Its passage marked a major step toward in fixing America’s broken immigration system, which the vast majority of Americans want Congress to fix. It would have been a critical step in giving a sense of security to the immigrants in our country who already participate in and contribute to the communities in which they have built their lives, providing the American people with an immigration system that promotes our national security and strengthens our economy. But Republican opposition kept the bill from ever coming to a vote in the House, forcing immigrant families to stay in the shadows, deepening economic uncertainty and costing our economy billions of dollars.“ As the Congressional Budget Office reported at the time, the law would have boosted economic output by 3.3 percent in the first decade, and 5.4 percent in the next. The CBO found that employment, investment and productivity would increase, and that Social Security would be strengthened. 

“Now, Donald Trump has won the Republican Party’s nomination with a campaign of hate, divisiveness, and dangerous proposals that threaten comprehensive immigration reform even more. He called Mexicans ‘rapists’ and ‘drug dealers’ and promises a reckless policy of mass deportations that would tear families apart. Just last week a Moody’s Analytics report found that the Republican standard-bearer’s immigration plan would leave jobs unfilled, particularly in agriculture, prompting losses across industries and throughout the workforce while fueling inflation. According to some reports, Trump’s economic and immigration proposals, would lead America toward ‘prolonged recession and heavy job losses that would fall hardest on low- and middle-income workers.’

“Separating families is not only bad for our economy, it also undermines the great strength our nation derives from the diversity and ingenuity of our young people. That’s not what America stands for — we have been and always will be a nation of immigrants, and Democrats will continue to fight for an economy that expands opportunity for all. Trump’s wrongheaded approach to immigration and to our economy will be rejected in November — our country simply can’t afford it.”