PATERSON - As Congress prepares to debate large scale changes to our immigration system, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) today held a forum at International High School in Paterson to educate constituents on pending immigration reform legislation and to allow attendees to share their ideas for him to bring back to Washington. The public meeting was attended by ethnic groups from across New Jersey's Ninth Congressional District along with local students.
"Our nation is built on generations of hardworking immigrants that came to our shores in search of the American dream," stated Rep. Pascrell. "As a lifelong Patersonian representing one of the most diverse districts in our country, I know how important it is to fix our broken immigration system. There need to be workable and reasonable measures to secure our border, and a system in place to ensure that companies can verify the immigration status of their employees.
"Comprehensive immigration reform will make legal immigration the norm and will enhance our national security. This is the beginning of a long road, and we know all too well that efforts to address this critical issue have failed in the past. As we move forward with immigration reform, we need to concentrate on the needs and interests of families, and find solutions that address the needs of workers and businesses.
"Businesses should have access to the types of skills we need—whether that is high tech or agricultural—but only if American citizens are given access to these positions first. This is not about amnesty, this is about fixing our broken immigration system, and allowing more people access to a legal pathway towards the American dream."
International High School's commitment to teaching diversity and celebrating the multicultural atmosphere of Paterson make it a fitting venue to discuss immigration reform. Students attending this academy are required to strive to be conversant in a language other than their native language, while immersing themselves in a curriculum focused on international and global studies.