A group of legal permanent residents who are housed at an immigration detention center have signed a letter requesting lawmakers not grant a legal path to citizenship for those in the country unlawfully.
The Seattle Times reports that the 13 men who signed the letter are all legal permanent residents in the U.S. They are currently being housed at an immigration detention center in Tacoma, Wash.
The detainees say that illegal immigration tarnishes them all, especially as debates around the issue have grown more heated.
“We take great offense that the country we grew up in is considering giving a reform to people who have done everything illegally as compared to our legal efforts for naturalization,” they wrote in the letter.
“Permanent residents should not be classified with illegal immigrants due to [illegal immigrants’] crime.”
The detainees want the government to focus more on the needs of citizens and legal permanent residents like themselves, who they say grew up in and are products of this country, and less on the needs unauthorized immigrants whom they say illegally entered the country and obtained false documents to work here.
Immigration reform advocates were dealt a major blow last week when Speaker John Boehner said that House Republicans would not negotiate over the Senate’s immigration reform bill.
“Frankly, I’ll make clear, we have no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill,” Boehner told reporters, according to Politico, which also reported that House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy recently told immigration activists in Bakersfield, Calif., that there would be no immigration legislation on the floor this year.