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Gov. Dayton and 14 other governors urge House leaders to approve immigration reform

The governors say they want a path to citizenship, changes to agricultural worker rules and visas for foreign graduate students in science and math.

Gov. Mark Dayton and 14 other governors sent a letter this week to U.S. House leaders, urging them to adopt immigration reform.

The U.S. Senate has passed a bill, but the issue languishes in the House.

The governors’ letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urges them “to act without delay … so that we can begin to build an immigration system that reflects our nation’s values and strengthens our economies.”

Also signing the letter were the governors of Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. All 15 are Democrats.

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The letter says “there is widespread support for an immigration bill that provides a fair, realistic pathway to earned citizenship for undocumented individuals currently in our country while, at the same time, securing our border.”

They also want a better program for farm workers and visas for foreign graduate students in science and math.

They say the proposal would help the nation’s economy, citing the “Congressional Budget Office’s report that the bill would decrease the federal deficit by $175B over ten years after enactment.”

The letter concludes:

We all recognize that immigrants contribute a great deal to our economy and our culture. We should make sure they are fully integrated into the social, civic and economic fabric of American life and have access to the same opportunities to succeed as everyone else. As Governors, we encourage you to adopt bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform legislation that reflects the values of our nation and contributes to the growth of our economies.