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A push for immigration reform

Residents demonstrate promoting immigration reform.

By Fritz Mayer
December 30, 2013

LIBERTY, NY — A handful of residents turned out in front of the Liberty offices of Congressman Chris Gibson on December 12 to urge him to support immigration reform.

Kat Fisher of Citizen Action New York said it was part of a “national fast and day of action to draw attention to the failure of House Republicans to vote on immigration reform.”

Richard Kirsch, a Columbia County resident, who appeared at Gibson’s Kinderhook office, said: “I am fasting, along with Rep.
Gibson’s constituents throughout his district, to ask that he take action to remedy the moral crisis that is our broken immigration system. Republicans and Democrats in the Senate together passed legislation months ago, but Rep. Gibson and the House Republicans are blocking a vote to provide a pathway forward for aspiring citizens.”

Stephanie Valle, a spokeswoman for Gibson, issued a statement that said, “As always, we welcome the input of all of our constituents and appreciate the time people took today to register their views in our district offices. An open and active political dialogue is what makes our country great.

“Listening to our farmers and constituents, it’s clear our immigration system is broken and in need of reform. We need serious policy reforms, including a means to enforce the ultimate agreement. “For instance, the Senate bill will only reduce illegal immigration by 33% to 50%; that does not solve the problem, and we can do better than that proposal. We must reform our system in a way that works, which means we need to improve on the comprehensive approaches offered thus far so that we don’t repeat the mistakes of 1986 and end up again with new laws that still don’t work. We’re confident that goal is achievable. We are, at once, a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws. Going forward, we need to reconcile these two principles in a manner grounded in reality and experience and insist on reform that works.”