Two Cabinet secretaries lobby for immigration reform

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, John Podesta from the Center for American Progress, and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, John Podesta from the Center for American Progress, and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Kitty Felde

House Democrats rolled out their proposal yesterday for immigration reform. Today, the White House sent two Cabinet secretaries out to make the case that it’s time to fix what they call a “broken system.”

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis knows something about immigration. Her mother is from Nicaragua, her father’s from Mexico.

She joined Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, whose mother is from Hong Kong, and father is from China.

Both made the case that the time was right for comprehensive immigration reform.

Solis said bringing undocumented workers into the light would be good for all workers — and for employers who play by the rules. She added that giving legal status to undocumented workers would be good for the federal government, too.

Adding up the numbers, Solis said, "twelve million people, if they become naturalized or legalized, and they begin to pay their taxes, just think of the revenue that would generate."

Solis and Locke are part of a White House task force on immigration. That group is headed by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Solis said the White House will take its cues from the Senate, which is expected to tackle immigration reform after the first of the year.

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