Congressman Fred Upton: 'I'm absolutely committed' to work on bipartisanship immigration reform
KALAMAZOO, MI — Congressman Fred Upton said he will continue to meet with local organizations to talk about immigration reform and said he expects a bill to reach the house floor this spring.The comments are deeply hostile to the illegals, as always on these articles.
"I'm absolutely committed to work for a bipartisan solution that can reach the president's desk," said Upton, who was not scheduled to speak during the meeting.
"Bottom line, we're here to get this done," he said.
Upton spoke to a crowd of more than 150 people — mostly Hispanic — at the end of a public meeting held Thursday night pushing for immigration reform legislation.
The forum was organized by United for a Better Future, a coalition of local organizations that includes Hispanic American Council, ISAAC, Association of Kalamazoo For Justice and the Metropolitan Kalamazoo Branch of the NAACP.
Upton said his office deals with immigration requests from constituents. With all the different laws and regulations, it is one of the most complex issues his office deals with.
"We have a broken that needs to be fixed," Upton said.
Upton, a Republican who has represented Southwest Michigan for a quarter century, said a bill may be introduced later in the spring.
"You'll see hearings, you'll see good debate that's constructive and a product that will reach the house floor this spring, April or May," Upton said.
Ranking Democrats and Republicans want to get immigration reform done, Upton said. Both President Barack Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner have said immigration legislation is on their agendas for 2013.
"It is in the interest if both parties that we fix a broken system," Upton said.
Upton said the legislation, which he hopes is one bill, will address both immigration and national security. He said representatives on both parties have come to a realization that something needs to be done to fix the system.
"I guess it's amazing to me that some of the former, strongest opponents of immigration reform…are now talking positively about moving forward," Upton said.
Upton also said the groups involved in the discussion needs to widen to include organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce and the Farm Bureau.
Upton received applause for many of the comments he made. After the meeting, dozens of people went up to him to have their picture taken with Upton.
Hispanic American Council Director Lori Mercedes said to have Upton and the other organizations including United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety at the meeting "sends a very strong message" to how committed the local community is to getting legislation passed.
Mercedes said this was the first time locally such a meeting has been held. Now, she said, people who are undocumented feel that they can publicly speak about what they need from the government and legislation.
"We never had these conversations before, there was nothing to talk about," Mercedes said.
Immigration reform brings wide range of Kalamazoo community organizations, politicians to public meeting
Congressman Fred Upton was in attendance Thursday night and told the crowd he is "absolutely committed to work for a bipartisan solution" on immigration reform.Previous:
“We’re a strong nation because of our diversity,” said Upton, R-St. Joseph. “And when we work together.”
Upton, however, said specifics on the legislation have not been discussed yet, as the judicial committee still has to have its organizational meeting. Upton said he expects a bill to be on the House floor later this Spring.
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