Fixing our Broken Immigration System

To the Editor:
Soon our Senators in Washington D.C. will be given a chance make significant changes to our current immigration system. Senate Bill 744 was written by a bi-partisan group of 8 Senators and has the broad support from key leaders in both political parties. It passed out of the Senate Judiciary committee with a vote of 13 - 5 and will be debated and voted on in the U.S. Senate in June. This bill provides for important border security measures, a path to citizenship for the 11.5 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States, mandates an employee verification system, and creates a new worker visa program. In Montana, approximately 5,000 undocumented immigrants would be considered for a path to citizenship. This is not amnesty. At this point, requirements include registration and fees totally $2,000, paying taxes, background check, learning English, and a waiting period of up to 13 years. Our immigrant community is an important part of our state economy, and Montana businesses and agriculture are dependent on the jobs that they fill. We
have an opportunity to honor our heritage by defending, protecting, and honoring the rights and humanity
of these sojourners and immigrants. The time is now to voice your support and ask our Montana Senators for their important vote in fixing our broken immigration system.

Patricia Decker
Montana Immigrant Justice
Alliance Board member
Red Lodge