NEWARK, NJ —Today, Sen. Jeffrey Chiesa joined with “Gang of Eight” member and longtime reform leader Sen. Robert Menendez to cast a critical vote to pass historic immigration reform legislation. The bill cleared the Senate with a bipartisan majority of 68-32, including every Democrat and 14 Republicans.
32BJ SEIU and other leading immigrant advocates have been fighting for a path to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans for years, and today the Senate brought America on step closer to achieving fair immigration reform. Although the legislation is not what we would have crafted, the bill maintains a clear and direct roadmap to citizenship, strong worker protections for current and future working families and keeps families together.
“Too many people have been living in fear for far too long,” said 32BJ member Benjamin Jimenez, an Airport Security Agent at Newark Liberty International Airport who lives in North Bergen, NJ. “We know that fixing this broken system will make our country stronger and bring us all together. This is a great day, and I hope that the members of the House of Representatives will see how very much we need this bill to pass quickly.”
Not only does the bill provide a roadmap to citizenship, protect future workers and strengthen family unity, it will slash the federal deficit and grow the economy.
“Commonsense immigration reform too often is portrayed as a conflict between relief for hardworking families and economic growth,” said Kevin Brown, 32BJ New Jersey State Director. “Now we know that this bill provides both. We’re very proud of our New Jersey senators today.”
Brown called on members of the House’ to heed the call of the growing consensus of Americans who want the President to sign immigration reform into law.
With more than 125,000 members, including 9,000 in New Jersey, 32BJ is the largest property service workers union in the country.