MENLO PARK, Calif. – Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of HUD Henry Cisneros, and former Governors Haley Barbour and Ed Rendell, co-chairs of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Immigration Task Force, called attention to the critical economic and national security issues surrounding immigration reform in Silicon Valley.
“We hope that this bipartisan task force can shed light on some of the challenges of immigration reform and provide some potential solutions,” said Secretary Rice at today’s event. “When done correctly, immigration reform will enhance our national security.”
Today’s event was the first in a series of regional events the task force will host around the country. Last night, the task force met with leaders from the high tech industry to discuss building bipartisan support for comprehensive immigration reform.
“Immigration reform should be a vehicle to grow the American economy,” said Governor Barbour. “Here in Silicon Valley there is an understanding of the need for high skilled labor, whether it is science, technology or other types of high skills that generate economic growth.”
“The recent and tragic events in Boston must not impede political momentum on this issue,” said Governor Rendell. “Passing comprehensive immigration reform will require some give and take among members of both parties.”
The four co-chairs were joined by three other members of the twelve-person task force: former Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and former Congressmen John Shadegg (R-AZ) and Howard Berman (D-CA).
“You can see that the issues before the country are substantial and efforts in Congress are making solid progress, like the Senate’s Gang of Eight,” said Secretary Cisneros. “By assembling this task force, we intend to bring the best thinking about immigration reform together and put forth our approach for how to solve this problem.”
BPC’s Immigration Task Force will consider all pillars of immigration reform, including enforcement, legalization and worker visas. Over the next several months, the task force will develop and advocate for consensus recommendations to guide national immigration policy. The task force will also encourage substantive, bipartisan dialogue among key interest groups and decision makers on national immigration goals and strategies, and will engage and shape the immigration policy debate as it unfolds over the course of the coming months.