"We have waited patiently for a workable solution to our immigration crisis to be taken up by this Congress and our President," Gutierrez said. "The time for waiting is over. This bill [has been] presented before Congress recesses for the holidays so that there is no excuse for inaction in the New Year. It is the product of months of collaboration with civil rights advocates, labor organizations, and members of Congress. It is an answer to too many years of pain-—mothers separated from their children, workers exploited and undermined security at the border—all caused at the hands of a broken immigration system. This bill says 'enough,' and presents a solution to our broken system that we as a nation of immigrants can be proud of."
In support of enacting "a reform of the US immigration system during the 111th Congress," is Roman D. Hernandez, president of the Hispanic National Bar Association, a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization.
However, the national immigration enforcement advocacy group, Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) is showing vehement opposition. ALIPAC issued a statement claiming that the bill "is going to ignite an unprecedented political fire storm which will cost many members of Congress their jobs in 2010."
"People feel shocked and completely betrayed that any elected official would propose legalizing illegal immigrants, stopping local police from enforcing immigration law and stopping increased border security when we have over 15 million Americans out of work," said William Gheen, chief ALIPAC spokesperson. "The backlash on this bill is going to dwarf the rancor and contentiousness of the health care debate and for good reason. The current push for Amnesty is a prime example of how disconnected Washington has become from the views and opinions of average Americans."
With over 30,000 national supporters ALIPAC credits themselves with having played a key roll in defeating three prior amnesty legislation attempts in 2006 and 2007. In the last two years, the group has focused on passing pro-enforcement legislation on the state level.
A summary of the bill may be found here.