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We are writing as seniors who retired to Fairfax County three years ago, drawn by its cultural diversity, vibrant entrepreneurial spirit, and pro-family values.

We are following closely the debate of comprehensive immigration reform legislation as it is currently playing out in the U.S. House of Representatives. We believe that the passage of a bill similar to the one recently approved by the U.S. Senate, entitled the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S.744), will have a profound positive impact on the quality of life and economy of Fairfax County.

A recent study by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that reform as it is stipulated in S. 744 will result in a ten-year increase of 24,000 new jobs and $670 million in new tax revenues for Virginia. Northern Virginia, as the state’s economic powerhouse, is expected to benefit from a significant proportion of those increases.

Reform as proposed will prioritize the naturalization of immigrant college graduates in the critical areas of science, engineering and technology, not only fast-tracking those permanent residents already living and educated in the area, but reducing the current backlog of those seeking visas to enter the country. This will infuse our local economy with talented and educated entrepreneurs and boost local business for the long term.

Seniors without documentation living with their families in Fairfax County will no longer have to fear deportation if the proposed reform is passed, and students brought here as children will have a clear pathway to naturalized status, and eventually, citizenship. This will reinforce and strengthen the cultural diversity and pro-family values which are so much a part of the Fairfax County way of life, and which, again, were an important part of our decision to move here.

We ask fellow Fairfax County residents to support comprehensive immigration reform and strongly urge our elected officials to do the same.

The Rev. Alfonso and Dr. Dabney Narvaez, Reston