The coalition was led by Democratic Governor Janet Napolitano of Arizona and Republican Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr., of Utah.
Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr. R-Utah: "This is not about scoring political points, this is about a group of governors, who want, very badly, to seek comprehensive reform in a very important policy area."
Gov. Janet Napolitano, D-Arizona: "In the view of the Western Gorvernors, on a bi-partisan basis, this needs to be dealt with as a law enforcement issue, as a visa issue, and as a labor market issue."
The plan sent to Congress asks for the adoption of legislation that, among other things,
-preserves the safety and interests of the United States but allows a supply of legal workers to enter the country,
-will not grant blanket amnesty to undocumented workers,
-will not create hurdles that keep foreign workers from legally immigrating into the U.S.,
-and will provide full federal funding for law enforcement and infrastructure needs.
Included in the document is a request for federal reimbursement of costs incurred at the state level for expenses associated with holding illegal entrants in local jails. The governors also would like to have the federal government work with top Mexican and Latin American officials to improve foreign economies. The hope is that illegal immigration will be reduced by using high paying jobs as an incentive to encourage foreign workers to stay home.
Gov. Janet Napolitano, D-Arizona: "We believe that some of the rhetoric coming out of our nation's capitol, vis-à-vis illegal immigration, is unfounded and unwise."
Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr. R-Utah: "I think Congress will listen to what we as governors have to say on this issue. Having discussed this with Senator McCain and Senator Kyle, and I know Janet has done the same, I believe they are looking forward to an expression our opinions on this matter. I think they will listen. They know what our responsibilities are as governors and they, I think, suspect they will take a hard-headed, realistic, pragmatic approach in terms of our recommendations."