Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller joined a bipartisan group of 35 state and district attorneys general who Tuesday sent a letter to Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress urging federal immigration reform.
“We are a bipartisan group of state attorneys general who recognize that immigration policy is primarily a federal responsibility. We are writing to convey our support for federal immigration reform that improves our immigration system, keeps our communities safe and protects our borders,” the letter states.
The AGs say federal resources should focus on protecting communities and borders and law enforcement should focus on public safety and serious crime. But it also must be “flexible enough to address the needs of businesses in the various states, with state input, while protecting the interests of workers. This includes a visa system that is both responsive and effective in meeting the demands of our economy,” the letter says.
“It should also acknowledge the beneficial economic contributions immigrants make as workers, tax payers, and consumers.”
The letter comes as a bipartisan group of Senators prepare to release a comprehensive immigration reform plan this week, The Hill reported. A possible point of contention in Congress is a path to citizenship for immigrants in the country without legal status.
The AGs urge Congress to make reasonable accommodations. “Our immigration policies must provide a sensible means to deal with the immigrants who are currently in the country without legal status but are of good character, pay taxes and are committed to continuing to contribute to our society.”
Other states signing the letter are: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Washington and Wyoming.