Bush Institute leads coalition calling for immigration reform

Bush Institute leads coalition calling for immigration reform
© ALYSSA POINTER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

A coalition of conservative, business, and religious refugee groups is calling on Congress to pass immigration reform as a way to address swelling numbers at the Southern border.

“The current migrant increase at the U.S.-Mexico border is creating strains on our country's immigration and humanitarian services. However, this situation is not new, nor is it political: we have seen similar numbers at the border before, and, without meaningful bipartisan action, we will see them again,” they write in a letter to congressional leaders spearheaded by the George W. Bush Institute. 

“The current situation underscores the urgent need to modernize America's immigration system so it can increase the efficiency of legal immigration, more effectively ensure American security, welcome refugees, and maintain the fabric of the American Dream.”

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The letter was also signed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable and Americans for Prosperity, along with a number of religious groups that help place refugees.

The letter backs Democratic-led legislation passed through the House providing a pathway to citizenship for "Dreamers" who came to the U.S. illegally as children and some migrant farmworkers. They also back President BidenJoe BidenBiden to provide update Monday on US response to omicron variant Restless progressives eye 2024 Emhoff lights first candle in National Menorah-lighting ceremony MORE’s efforts to address the root causes of migration in Central America.

Those bills, however, have yet to be brought up in the Senate. Meanwhile, Biden's own bill, which would provide a pathway for citizenship for 11 million people, has stalled amid fights over the border.

The letter seeks to reignite the discussion, calling for expanding pathways to the U.S., arguing that potential migrants need “accessible legal channels to migrate.”

“While the increase at the southern border will eventually subside, the broader problems with our nation's immigration system will remain without additional reform,” they write, adding that “America benefits from immigration.”

The former president made similar calls in an April op-ed in The Washington Post, saying that border security needed to be balanced with more pathways.

"We can be both a lawful and a welcoming nation at the same time," he wrote.