(CNSNews.com) - State lawmakers are banding together to fight the "dangers" of illegal immigration.
The new nationwide coalition -- called State Legislators for Legal Immigration -- said it is launching an "unprecedented and historic effort to secure borders and cut off all economic attractions for illegal aliens."
Pennsylvania State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, a Republican, made the announcement in Harrisburg on Monday.
Metcalfe is demanding "full cooperation" from federal, state and local governments to "secure America's borders against unlawful invasion." That includes eliminating all economic attractions and incentives - such as welfare and other taxpayer-funded public benefits, education and job opportunities -- that may prompt foreigners to sneak across the border, Metcalfe said.
"Since Washington, D.C., remains AWOL on fulfilling its Constitutional responsibilities to secure our nation's borders against foreign invaders, it is not only incumbent, but the obligation for state lawmakers to step up and do the job that our federal government refuses to do," Metcalfe said in a news release announcing the formation of the coalition.
"State Legislators for Legal Immigration represents a 21st century Declaration of Independence from property theft, drug running, human trafficking, increased violent crime, increased gang activity, terrorism and the many other clear and present dangers directly associated with illegal immigration," he added.
Lawmakers from 25 state legislatures, including Pennsylvania, have signed on as pioneer members of State Legislators for Legal Immigration, Metcalfe announced.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, as of April 13, 2007, state legislators in all 50 states had introduced at least 1,169 illegal immigration reform bills and resolutions -- more than twice the 570 bills introduced 2006. About 57 of those reform measures have been enacted in nearly 20 states.
"It is my hope that State Legislators for Legal Immigration will serve as a unifying force to bring all levels of government together to terminate America's illegal alien invasion from every city, community, small town, main street, backyard; across our fruited plains and from sea to shining sea," said Metcalfe.
"Once the economic attractions of illegal jobs and taxpayer-funded public benefits are severed at the source, these illegal alien invaders will have no choice but to go home on their own."
Metcalfe has made immigration reform one of his signature issues.
For the past two years, he has introduced comprehensive immigration reform legislation. And in 2006, he sponsored a resolution calling on President Bush and the Congress to "immediately secure our nation's borders to protect American citizens from the dangers of unlawful invasion and illegal immigration."
The U.S. Senate on Monday agreed to debate a compromise immigration reform bill, but it decided not to vote on the measure until June.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said it would be better to wait until after the Memorial Day recess to complete the bill.
He said the Senate probably might be able to finish by Memorial Day - "but I'm afraid the conclusion wouldn't be anything that anyone wanted."
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