By the REV. JEFF ALLEN, STEVE ROBERTS and KENNY PERDUE
The time is now for commonsense, bipartisan immigration reform. The agreement announced by the Gang of Eight senators - Republicans and Democrats - would go a long way toward fixing our broken immigration system while protecting American employers and American workers.
As leaders representing West Virginia businesses, workers and churches, we understand the importance of compromise and the give and take that it requires.
We are proud of our congressional delegation, which time and again has served as a model for the nation when it comes to seeking bi-partisan solutions.
We invite all of our senators and representatives to stand together in this great compromise for immigration reform.
Here's what this legislation does:
* First, it ramps up our border security to historically high levels.
* Second, it reforms the legal immigration system so immigrant spouses and children no longer have to be separated for as many as 20 or 30 years, or more.
* Third, it expands E-verify to help businesses ensure that their workers have legal status.
* Fourth, it creates a new visa worker program - agreed upon by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National AFL-CIO - that would allow workers to enter the country as needed, but not at wages that would undercut American workers.