OLYMPIA – Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Kent, today joined with President Obama to call for Congressional action on immigration reform. Keiser was among the longtime reform supporters invited to the White House by the president to urge Congress to pass bipartisan reforms to the United States immigration system:
“Today I was proud to stand with President Obama and join in his call for a fix to our broken immigration system. The time to act is now. Persistence, activism and passion have brought us to the brink of passing reforms that will help our economy and benefit millions of people. It is time to take the next step, move past partisan barriers and pass an immigration reform bill.
“The President described immigration reform as more than just an idea whose time had come, but an idea whose time had been around for years and an idea that both Democrats and Republicans support. I could not agree more. At a time when partisan bickering has shutdown our government and threatened our economy with the first government default in 200 years, immigration reform is something that both parties can come together on.
“Both parties agree that fixing immigration will benefit our country and our state. It is good for security, the economy and the people of the United States. In inviting the brightest minds in the world to study in the United States and to open businesses here, we grow our economy and ensure that the United States continues to be a home for innovation and a place where ideas become successful realities. In passing legislation to eliminate the shadow economy, we seek competitive wages and benefits for workers, to grow our middle class and make the American Dream a reality for millions.
“There will always be political disagreements, but to put up a roadblock on issues we do agree on is irresponsible and it is not what we were elected to do. Our citizens elected us to lead, not to ignore common sense reforms in the hope of scoring political points. In passing immigration reform, we have the opportunity to send a message to the people of the United States that we are capable of moving past political score settling and supporting reforms that have overwhelming public support.
“The President was right to describe supporters of these reforms as not easily deterred and unwilling to give up. We have come too far and are too close to success to stop now. Now is the time to act and I join the call to members of Congress to come together and pass a bill that moves immigration reform beyond an idea whose time has come and instead write a law whose benefits are clear.”