The bipartisan group of U.S. senators who became known as the Gang of 8 while advocating for immigration reform have won Roybal awards for outstanding public service, NALEO announced Tuesday.
The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) will present the Edward R. Roybal Award for Outstanding Public Service to the senators at the annual NALEO Edward R. Roybal Legacy Gala on Feb. 12 at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C.
The award will recognize the efforts of Sens. Michael Bennet, Dick Durbin, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Bob Menendez, Marco Rubio and Charles Schumer to move immigration reform forward by developing legislation that would be palatable for both parties.
The senators wrote the first draft of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.
Sens. Bennet, Durbin, McCain, Mendendez and Schumer have confirmed they will attend.
"The 'Gang of 8' demonstrated extraordinary leadership in their efforts to achieve meaningful immigration reform that upholds the values of this great nation by including a path to citizenship and robust integration support for the millions of immigrants living in the shadows today," Alex Padilla, NALEO president and California state senator, said in a news release.
"Fixing our nation's broken immigration system would unite American families, strengthen borders and recognize the significant contributions immigrants are making to our country each and every day," he continued, adding that the senators exemplify "the spirit of service of the late Congressman Roybal" by working to make immigration reform a reality.
The Roybal Award is presented annually to individuals who have distinguished themselves as devoted public servants to the nation and the Hispanic community. This is the first time it will be presented to more than one individual in a single year, as well as to individuals outside the Latino community.
NALEO is the leadership organization of the nation's more than 6,000 Latino elected and appointed officials.
The immigration reform Group of 8 isn't to be confused with the senior senators and House members briefed by the president on security matters.
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