Antonio Villaraigosa wants immigration reform now.
The Los Angeles Mayor called on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform in a video posted to The Dream Is Now on Thursday, appealing to economic rationality as much as humanitarian empathy. (Watch the video above.)
“Immigrants contribute to our economy as workers, consumers, business owners, and taxpayers,” Villaraigosa said. “More than that, though, they are sparkling strands in the colorful weave of cultural and civic life in this nation… We cannot build a strong economy on the back of a broken immigration system.”
Villaraigosa, an immigrant rights advocate, also called on Congress to pass the DREAM Act.
“They are Americans in thought, action and self-identification and now is the time for our government to recognize them by granting them a pathway to citizenship,” Villaraigosa said.
The Dream Is Now is a collaboration between Emerson Collective and award-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim that aims to tell stories representative of the more than 1 million people who would qualify for the DREAM Act.
The project attracted attention last week with the video below, in which Terrence, a U.C. Berkeley student in mathematics and applied statistics explains how the DREAM Act could give the United States a $329 billion boost.