[lin_video src=http://eplayer.clipsyndicate.com/embed/player.js?aspect_ratio=16×9&auto_next=1&auto_start=0&div_id=videoplayer-1370663773&height=480&page_count=5&pf_id=9624&show_title=1&va_id=4089167&width=640&windows=2 service=syndicaster width=640 height=480 div_id=videoplayer-1370663773 type=script]BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – A forum on immigration brought a member of the “gang of eight” in the U.S. House of Representatives to Birmingham on Friday. The local debate fell on the same day that U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions from Alabama led the opposition to immigration reform legislation in the U.S. Senate.
Deportation, the path to citizenship, and health care were all issues that came up during the forum on immigration at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.
It was hosted by Rep. Terri Sewell from Alabama with one of the house “gang of eight” members working on immigration reform, Congressman Luis Gutierrez of Illinois.
“It takes more than 10 years to legally come to the United States of America,” said Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, (D-IL).
“We’re talking about the unification of families and right now one of the big major trouble areas that we have is deportations. We currently don’t have a stop to those,” said Evelyn Servin, community organizer with the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice. “And to him it is very personal because he thinks of his two daughters going back home and having to live in fear of being separated.”
“Those that oppose comprehensive immigration reform use arguments that really belong in the past, those arguments have been discredited. We have Republicans and Democrats, men and women, on both sides of the aisle, working to solve our broken immigration system. Unfortunately there are still politicians who want to make of immigration the same as they do of Bhengazi and the AP, and the IRS, and Obamacare and whether or not we’re going to have guns. I mean, isn’t there enough division in Washington D.C.? Isn’t there enough to fight about? Shouldn’t we try to find common ground and consensus at least on one issue?” said Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, (D-IL).
Senator Jeff Sessions from Mobile questions whether the legislation being considered now is really fair and whether it can really fix the problems with our immigration system for the future.
“…does this bill do what has been promised for it? And if it does we may be on the track to doing something good, but if it doesn’t it needs to be rejected. We cannot go down the path of amnesty now and another massive illegality in the future,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions, (R-AL).
“Sound immigration reform serves the national interest, not the special interests. That means securing the border, improving future immigration enforcement, and creating rising wages for the good people of our state. Sadly, the bill before the Senate does the opposite: it fails to secure the border, it weakens future enforcement, and it will reduce the wages of workers in our state and nationwide. It is also opposed by federal immigration officers, who warn its provisions will undermine public safety. The flawed legislation is product of a backroom special interest deal. We can and must do better,” said Session.