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posted: 11/25/2013 5:00 AM

Time is now for immigration reform

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As president of the League of Women Voters in Illinois and on behalf of local Leagues in Illinois' 6th Congressional District, I am writing in support of comprehensive immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship. The time for this reform is now.

What does immigration reform include?

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• A path to citizenship for undocumented persons

• A program to reunite families

• A plan to meet the economic business and employment needs of the U.S.

• Safeguards to deter illegal immigration

• The provision of due process for all persons including the right to a fair hearing.

The debate over comprehensive immigration reform is now in the U.S. House of Representatives. After vigorous argument from both sides of the aisle, the Senate passed S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, on a strong bipartisan vote in June. The Senate bill may not be perfect, but that should not keep us from moving forward in the House to reform our broken immigration system.

The League of Women Voters was founded upon the belief that our democracy is enhanced by a diversity of voices. Immigrants have helped weave the fabric and identity of our nation from its beginning. It's time to help those living in the shadows to become a part of our great nation; we believe that comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship will strengthen our nation and society.

Mary Kubasak

President

League of Women Voters of Illinois

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