As national immigration reform remains stalled in Congress, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey is urging the House of Representatives to act on national immigration reform.
Menendez wants the Republican-controlled House to pass a reform measure even if it doesn’t vote on the bill that the Senate approved in June.
“We’re just happy to see action so that we can get to a conference that can ultimately produce a bill this year, legislation this year, that can be sent to the president,” Menendez.
The reforms would boost New Jersey’s economy by $377 million a year and generate $81 million annually in state and local taxes, Menendez said.
Changes to the immigration law would affect more than a half million New Jersey residents who are not documented, said Gordon MacInnes, president of New Jersey Policy Perspective.
“The bill would provide a pathway for them to gain legal status, which means that they could come of the shadows. They would not have to fear detention and deportation as they do now,” he said. “They wouldn’t have to fear the breakup of families.”
Reforming immigration policies represents a pathway to future economic growth for the state, said Bob Prunetti, president of the MIDJersey Chamber of Commerce.
U.S. House Republicans are working on a set of reform principles that could call for piecemeal measures rather than the comprehensive package the Senate approved.