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Congressional Briefing Unites Voice on Immigration

Thursday, May 18, 2006  
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– The Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) hosted its first Congressional

briefing this morning at the U.S. Capitol, on the important issue of immigration reform. CHLI Chairman

Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart outlined the work being performed to formulate a comprehensive immigration

reform package, and introduced Senator John McCain (AZ), Senator Hillary Clinton (NY) and Senator Mel

Martinez (FL). Each Senator called for swift passage of comprehensive reform legislation in the Senate.

"These are defining moments in American history,” said Senator John McCain, "I am very optimistic of

getting comprehensive immigration legislation reform passed in the Senate.”



"In the Senate, we have a bipartisan coalition in support of comprehensive immigration reform,” said

Senator Hillary Clinton.



"The time to implement comprehensive reform is now. The President laid out a solid plan earlier this

week,” said Senator Mel Martinez.


"Addressing only a portion of the issue will not solve the immigration problem,” said Congressman

Lincoln Diaz-Balart.

The panelists discussed the impact that the immigration debate is having on the media, businesses and the Hispanic


"We applaud the Senate for showing a new way of leadership,” said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of

National Immigration Forum, "To decrease illegal immigration, you need to increase legal immigration.”


"We (the Spanish media) are positively impacting the immigration debate by providing a bipartisan

perspective on a very complex issue,” said Augie Martinez, VP East Coast Strategy for Telemundo.


"The best homeland security is economic security,” said Eddie Aldrete from Alliance for Security and



"The issues that we need to discuss go beyond the issue of immigration,” said Allert Brown Gort of the

Institute for Latino Studies at University of Notre Dame.


"Senate Majority Leader, Dr. Bill Frist has shown incredible courage in moving a comprehensive solution

to border security and immigration reform forward in the U.S. Senate,” said Noe Garcia, Policy Advisor to

Senator Bill Frist, "This issue is an American issue, a national security issue, an economic security issue,

and a humanitarian issue. We are working hard to pass a bill that achieves all of those things."

Congressman Diaz-Balart emphasized the importance of hosting these Congressional briefings as a way to discuss

potential solutions to complex problems that affect millions of Hispanics.


For more information on CHLI’s programs and upcoming events, please visit the website at:

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