The American Conservative Union has just released a statement in support of Sen. Marco Rubio’s bipartisan effort on immigration reform, suggesting that there was widespread conservative support for the bill.

“It is an honor to bring together fellow conservatives who feel strongly that we need to act now to fix our broken immigration policies and our borders,” said ACU Chairman Al Cardenas in the statement. “I congratulate my friend Senator Marco Rubio for his leadership on this issue and believe that conservative support for his efforts is growing.”

Cardenas clarified that the bill was “not perfect” but that Rubio was “working in good faith.”

Full text of the statement below:


“President Obama and the liberals in the Senate have planned for a long time to use executive power and push legislation that would legalize those immigrants here illegally quickly with no border security, no interior security, and no reform of our legal immigration process.  Given President Obama’s history of executive action, simply opposing immigration reform should not be the conservative response to this problem.  We believe conservatives should be leading the way on this issue by supporting legislation that upholds conservative principles.

Conservatives are ready to support immigration reform, so long as it is pro-economic growth, strengthens families, fosters assimilation and prevents another wave of illegal immigration from happening again.  The immigration bill being taken up in the Senate is an important starting point in the effort to improve what even those opposed to the bill agree is a failed and broken system.  The bill includes triggers to insure border security and interior security before any immigrant is given permanent legal status.  It includes a guest worker program that moves us toward a merit-based system.  Notably, these are all key features that President Obama has vociferously opposed and undermined during his four years in office and are provisions that conservatives have been advocating for decades.

This legislation is not perfect.  We do not expect the bill without amendments to pass, and we encourage good-faith amendments to improve the legislation.  We are encouraged by the starting point that Senator Rubio and his Republican colleagues have gotten leading liberals in the Senate to agree to.  We believe they are working in good faith to improve the bill and we support a fair, open and transparent legislative process.  We ask that conservatives in the Senate work to improve the legislation.  America needs immigration reform.  As the Democrats run the Senate, the ball is in their court.  They can work with conservatives to improve the legislation to foster growth and security and help be a part of solving the problem.  Or they can undermine it, by putting partisan politics over sound public policy.”

Note: Institutional Affiliations Listed Below for Identification Purposes Only

Al Cardenas    Chairman, American Conservative Union

Alfonso Aguilar

Lawson Bader    President, Competitive Enterprise Institute

Brad Bailey    Texas Immigration Solution

Jeff Bell    American Principles Project

David Bier    Immigration Policy Analyst, Competitive Enterprise Institute

Frank Cannon    Susan B. Anthony List

Linda Chavez    Chairman, Center for Equal Opportunity

Former Senator Norm Coleman    Hogan Lovells US LLP

Larry Cirignano    President, Faithful Catholic Citizens

Tom Donelson    Chairman, Americas PAC

Diana Furchtgott-Roth    Manhattan Institute for Policy Research

Carlos Gutierrez    Republicans for Immigration Reform

Colin Hanna    President, Let Freedom Ring

Doug Holtz-Eakin    President, American Action Forum

Deal Hudson    President, Pennsylvania Catholics Network

Tamar Jacoby    Immigration Works USA

Dr. Tim Kane, Ph.D.    Chief Economist, Hudson Institute

Jennifer S. Korn    Executive Director, Hispanic Leadership Network

Arthur B. Laffer    Laffer Associate

Dr. Richard Land    President, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Mario H. Lopez    President, Hispanic Leadership Fund

Fred Malek    Chairman, American Action Forum

Grover Norquist    President, Americans for Tax Reform

Ralph Reed    Chairman, Faith & Freedom Coalition

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez    President, NHCLC Hispanic Evangelical Association

Mat Staver    President and Founder, Liberty Counsel

Paul Wolfowitz    Scholar, American Enterprise Institute