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Bipartisan Policy Center Launches New Immigration Task Force Led By Secretaries Condoleezza Rice, Henry Cisneros And Governors Haley Barbour, Ed Rendell

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) is creating a high-level bipartisan task force on immigration - co-chaired by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, and former Governors Haley Barbour and Ed Rendell - to develop a politically viable package of policy recommendations and work with Congress to help pass immigration reform. 

The Immigration Task Force will consider all pillars of immigration reform, including enforcement, legalization and worker visas.  Over the next several months, the task force will develop and advocate for consensus recommendations to guide national immigration policy.  The task force will also encourage substantive, bipartisan dialogue among key interest groups and decision makers on national immigration goals and strategies, and will engage and shape the immigration policy debate as it unfolds over the course of the coming months. 

The full task force, which will be announced in the coming weeks, will be comprised of leading immigration experts, business and labor leaders, former elected officials, and other stakeholders.   

"We are determined to be helpful to the current immigration debate around the country and have already begun talking to major constituencies," said Secretary Cisneros.  "While our recommendations will take time to develop, we intend to regularly weigh in on the ongoing debate as it develops on Capitol Hill."

"In the last month, there has been considerable attention paid to this issue, kick starting the momentum for legislative action," said Governor Rendell. 

"Despite our divergent views, I am confident the Bipartisan Policy Center's Immigration Task Force will propose recommendations that push the country forward," said Governor Barbour.

The project will be directed by Rebecca Tallent, former Chief of Staff and long-time aide to Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who joined BPC earlier this month to lead this effort.  Starting in 2005, Tallent served as Senator McCain's lead staff person on immigration issues.  She advised and drafted bipartisan immigration legislation in the 108th, 109th and 110th Congresses. 

"Securing our nation's borders is not only a national security priority, it is important economically," said Secretary Rice.  "I am eager to develop a set of recommendations for immigration reform that both Republicans and Democrats can support."

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