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Governors urge Congress to act on immigration


Gov. Neil Abercrombie has joined 14 other governors in a letter to Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urging the U.S. House of Representatives to act without delay in adopting bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

A measure passed last month in the U.S. Senate but is awaiting action by the House.

The letter emphasizes that such action is necessary for the nation to begin building an immigration system that reflects the country’s values and strengthens its economies.

The letter states:

“As reflected by the strong vote in the Senate, there is widespread support for an immigration bill that provides a fair, realistic pathway to earned citizenship for undocumented individuals currently in our country while, at the same time, securing our border.”

The governors also expressed support for visa programs that allow for agricultural guest workers and students studying science and math:

“Agriculture is one of the backbones of our country’s economy. Many of our farms, especially small family farms, will go out of business unless they are given access to a reliable workforce.

“We also support an immigration plan that provides visas to foreign graduate students in science and math who came to this country for an education. Our nation and states work hard to attract these talented students. We should give them the opportunity to stay so that they can contribute to our economies and access the American dream.

“This is not only the right policy for our nation, it also makes sense economically … We all recognize that immigrants contribute a great deal to our economy and our culture. We should make sure they are fully integrated into the social, civic and economic fabric of American life and have access to the same opportunities to succeed as everyone else.”

In addition to Gov. Abercrombie, those signing the letter included Govs. Mike BeeBe (Arkansas), Dannel P. Malloy (Connecticut), John Hickenlooper (Colorado), Jack Markell (Delaware), Pat Quinn (Illinois), Steve Beshear (Kentucky), Deval Patrick (Massachusetts), Margaret Hassan (New Hampshire), Lincoln Chafee (Rhode Island), Jay Inslee (Washington), Martin O’Malley (Maryland), Mark Dayton (Minnesota), John Kitzhaber (Oregon), and Peter Shumlin (Vermont).

To read the full letter, visit:

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