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Latino-Jewish caucus urges path to citizenship

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A bipartisan caucus of Jewish and Hispanic members of the U.S. House of Representatives said a path to citizenship for undocumented workers should underpin immigration reform.

The co-chairs of the Latino-Jewish Congressional Caucus — Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the chairwoman of the House Middle East subcommittee; Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee; and Rep. Xavier Becarra (D-Calif.)  — said this week that immigration reform should include a “viable and efficient” path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and “smart, effective and humane” border enforcement.

“As longtime partners on these issues, we call for pragmatic common-sense solutions to fix our immigration system in a way that meets our nation’s economic needs, protects those who flee persecution, reflects our shared commitment to security, justice, equal opportunity, family unification, immigrant integration and human dignity,” the statement said.

A comprehensive immigration reform plan has passed the U.S. Senate but is foundering in the House, where some Republicans say border enforcement should be its emphasis, rather than avenues to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

The American Jewish Committee praised the caucus’ statement.

“The Latino-Jewish Congressional Caucus initiative is critically important, emphasizing that both communities in the U.S. have been actively advocating for long overdue immigration reform,” Dina Siegel Vann, director of AJC’s Latino and Latin American Institute, said in a statement.

There are 25 members of the Latino-Jewish caucus, which was founded in 2011.

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