Representatives Escobar, Salazar Introduce Historic, Bipartisan Immigration Reform
Washington, D.C., May 23, 2023
Today, Representatives Veronica Escobar (TX-16) and Maria Elvira Salazar (FL-27) are announcing the Dignity Act of 2023, a historic, bipartisan immigration reform bill. This legislation has been over six months in the making; it addresses border security and infrastructure, creates legal status for undocumented immigrants already living in the United States with the possibility of earning citizenship, establishes new pathways for asylum seekers, and creates new legal pathways for economic migrants and unaccompanied minors.
“Decades of congressional inaction on immigration law has real consequences, and the humanitarian crisis unfolding before our eyes requires a bipartisan solution,” said Congresswoman Escobar. “I have seen the toll our broken immigration system has on federal personnel, local representatives, nonprofits, and the migrants themselves, and the need for a realistic, common-sense compromise could not be more urgent. These challenging times call for both compassion and action, and the Dignity Act of 2023 offers a bipartisan, meaningful approach that restores dignity to people who have tried to navigate a broken system for far too long. With the introduction of this legislation that Representative Salazar and I have been working on since December 2022, it is our hope that Congress seizes the opportunity to solve the immigration challenges of today and tomorrow.”
“Our broken immigration system is frustrating Americans, causing people to suffer, and fracturing our country — economically, morally, socially, and politically. A solution is long overdue,” said Rep. Salazar. “I am proud to introduce the new and improved, bipartisan Dignity Act. This bill gives dignity to the border agents who need support, the job creators who need employees, the American people who need secure borders, and those who currently live in the shadows.”
This comprehensive bill makes meaningful reforms to several aspects of our immigration system:
The last time Congress passed immigration reform was in 1996, and that was driven by Republicans and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. That bill eliminated several legal immigration pathways, essentially making fewer people eligible for legal status while making more people deportable. Currently, multiple federal agencies are working to manage the border using the tools they have. But Congress needs to update our immigration laws, pure and simple. And it’s not like Congress hasn’t had the opportunity; over the last 10 years, 7 major pushes for immigration reform have failed: