Senator Patty Murray laid out her priorities for immigration reform Wednesday on the floor of the U.S Senate. Her comments come as the Senate begins debate on a landmark immigration bill.
The Democratic congresswoman said she sees the effects of a broken immigration system across her home state of Washington.
“I see it in rural parts of my state. Cities like Yakima and Moses Lake, where farmers can’t get the seasonal AG workers they need to support one of our state’s largest industries," Murray says. "I see it in big cities like Seattle, and Vancouver and Spokane, where high-tech businesses struggle to hire the world’s best and brightest.”
Murray also called for immigration changes that would keep more families together, including same-sex partners. In the U.S, marriage-based citizenship is not an option for gay couples.
The reform bill sets out a 13-year journey to citizenship for some 11 million immigrants who are in the country illegally. But that citizenship process would only begin after certain border security goals are met.
Some Republican Senators argue that the bill’s provisions to secure the border are still too weak.
President Barack Obama has urged Congress to pass an immigration reform bill by the end of the summer.
Copyright 2013 KUOW