DFL Gov. Mark Dayton on Thursday joined with 14 other governors to plead with the U.S. House to approve immigration overhaul legislation.

"Now that the Senate has done its work, the House of Representatives should act without delay to pass similar legislation so that we can begin to build an immigration system that reflects our nation’s values and strengthens our economies," the governors said in a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The group of chief executives is geographically diverse -- from states including Arkansas, New Hampshire and Washington -- but politically narrow -- all 15 are Democrats.

The letter specifically asks that the Republican House, like the Democratic  Senate, look at changing immigration policy by securing the country's borders and providing a so-called "path to citizenship" for undocumented immigrants.

"We should avoid and reject any requirements that litter the pathway with (insurmountable) obstacles," the letter said.

The governors also said that they support replacing the current system of visas for farm workers, expanding visa programs for graduate students in math and sciences and increasing funding for science, technological, engineering and mathematics education.

The Senate voted on an immigration policy measure last month; the House has not scheduled a vote on a related measure.

2013 07 17 Immigration Letter by Rachel E. Stassen-Berger

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