U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich delivered a speech on the Senate floor yesterday to address the urgent need to fix our country’s broken immigration system.
“New Mexico’s remarkable spirit is rooted in our diversity, our history, and our culture, which has always been enriched by our immigrant communities and family members,” said Senator Heinrich in his speech. “We need a solution that includes a visa system that meets the needs of our economy, a tough but fair path to earned citizenship for the estimated 11 million people in our country who are undocumented, and a plan that ensures security at our borders.”
Senator Heinrich introduced three amendments to S.744, the senate immigration reform bill. Two of the measures aim to increase bilateral trade, create jobs, and strengthen security at New Mexico Port of Entries by extending the commercial and private hours of operation for vehicles at the Santa Teresa Port of Entry to 24 hours and requiring a $59 million modernization and reconstruction of the Columbus Land Port of Entry. The third amendment would ensure Hispanic-Serving Institutions are eligible to apply for grant funding to assist undocumented individuals in the transition to Registered Provisional Immigration status.
Sen. Heinrich is a strong advocate for accountable immigration reform and a lead proponent of the DREAM Act. Last month, he traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border to get a firsthand look at issues affecting the region and to meet with local communities, small business owners, faith leaders, and border officials to discuss the need to pass immigration reform that works for New Mexico.