Transcript: Sen. Michael Bennet on the Gang of Eight’s comprehensive immigration reform bill

Partial transcript of remarks by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) on the Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act”. The press briefing was held on April 18, 2013:

…I first want to thank my colleagues that are up here for showing me how the Senate actually can work, and it’s going to take more of that for us to get this bill passed. And this bill is incredibly important to people of my state…

If this bill is passed or when this bill is passed, it will be a reaffirmation of two incredibly essentially American ideas – the idea that we’re committed as a country to the rule of law and the idea that we’re a nation of immigrants. And I would argue that it’s those two ideas working together unlike in any country in the world that decade after decade from our founding has enabled every generation of Americans to invent the future.

And now it’s our time in the 21st century to decide whether we are still up to that task, whether we can continue to invent the future not just here but for the entire world.

And recommitting ourselves to these two notions is going to be a central part of moving us forward.

I want to thank the people in Colorado who told me about how the broken immigration system is affecting their lives and their work. The peach growers on the west slope of Colorado, the cattle ranchers on the eastern plains, the people working in our high-tech fields, the people that were the Dreamers when I was superintendent of the Denver public schools.

Each one of them is struggling to get ahead in this economy and every one of them feels burned by a broken immigration system that’s not working well but they’re getting up every single day working with whomever it is – Democrat or Republican, neighbors they don’t like terribly much – to drive their business forward and drive their family forward. And the least they can expect from the United States Congress is that level of effort. And it’s going to take that level of effort to get this passed…


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