The Alabama Coalition for Immigration Justice Thursday praised the U.S. Senate's approval of an immigration bill, known officially as the Border Security, Economic Competitiveness, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.
"The Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice recognizes that today is a major step toward a roadmap to citizenship for millions of aspiring Americans living in this country," said Rev. Angie Wright, Chair of the ACIJ. "Many of our members are hopeful that this legislation will bring their families out of the shadows and allow them to continue contributing to Alabama's economy and community."
But while ACIJ officials are optimistic about the future, saying the legislation will overhaul the nation's immigration system, provide a roadmap to citizenship and give a boost to the sluggish economy, they will fight to change some provisions of the bill before it becomes law.
Wright says a build-up on the United States' border with Mexico "will have serious ramifications for border communities and American taxpayers." She said Alabama's Senators, Richard Shelby (R) and Jeff Sessions (R), are "standing in the way of millions of aspiring Americans getting on a path to citizenship."
The ACIJ is urging leaders of the U.S. House to "realize that the American people are on the side of reform and want to see Congress solve this problem." The bill's future seems uncertain in the Republican-controlled House, however, with Alabama Representative Martha Roby (R-District 2) calling the Senate's bill a "monstrosity" and"deeply flawed".