Republican Wants to ‘Include,’ Give ‘Dignity’ to ’15 Million’ Illegal Immigrants: WEF Davos Summit (Video)

Rep. Maria Salazar, a Republican from Florida, has called on Congress to provide “dignity” to millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States as part of a comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws.

Salazar made the statement at the World Economic Forum (WEF) summit currently underway in Davos, Switzerland, during a panel discussion called “America (Un)Bound.”

“There’s no way that the United States can continue being what it is, the most important power in the world, the number-one economy in the world, if we don’t have hands,” Salazar said.

“I represent the Hispanics, which are the largest minority in the country. We are 23%. And the overwhelming majority of the people who are crossing the border as we speak are Hispanics, Latinos, like I am.”

“And this nation, and I believe people like me in Congress, should be the ones telling the rest of the political elite that it’s time for both parties to pay attention to something that, for the last 35 years, neither party has been able to do, which is to pass complete overhaul of the immigration system. Because not only do we need those hands, like the senator was saying, but we need to also give dignity to those people who are in the country,” Salazar continued.

“Because those are the people that I represent. We’re talking about 13, 15 million people who are, most of them, Hispanics, I would say 85%, who speak my language, look like me and sound like me, that are contributing with the economy of this country. And they live in the shadows. So it’s time to seal the border, and then turn around and give dignity. That doesn’t mean a path to citizenship, that means to include them and make them dignified members of our community,” she said.

Salazar, a second-term congresswoman, represents a Miami-based congressional district that is 70% Hispanic.

According to the U.S. Census, 68% of adult residents of her district speak Spanish at home, and 52% are immigrants.

Salazar has long been an advocate for immigration reform, introducing legislation in February 2022 that aimed to increase border security and provide a pathway to permanent resident status for long-time illegal immigrants.