Opinion: On immigration, Congress should learn from late Senator Lautenberg

NBC Latino

Senator Lautenberg died this week. The last lion of the Senate, Senator Lautenberg was the remaining member to have served in World War II.

A successful businessman and war hero, he also had the humility to legislate from his own personal weaknesses and mistakes. A former smoker, he pushed to end smoking on planes and in federal buildings.

While his push to pass a federal helmet law was long resisted as nanny-state legislation gone wrong, his determination to reduce motorcycle deaths was admirable. Perhaps understanding the difficulty in passing such legislation, his attention to the problem nevertheless changed the discussion among states and has lead to a different conversation among legislators and riders alike.

Senator Lautenberg was also a strong advocate for Latinos, favoring comprehensive immigration reform, pushing to include undocumented workers in the social security system, and resisting efforts to make English the official language.

But as his tireless…

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