Pro Immigrant Groups React to the State of theUnion
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:
We share the President’s urgent belief in the importance of a path to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans who call this country home, and we are fully committed to making that a reality. Reform of our immigration laws must reflect America’s values as a democratic society, and not create a second class of workers, whether through a temporary worker program or by restricting the ability of the undocumented to someday attain citizenship. Strong protections for worker standards and worker rights are essential to the economic future of all working people.
Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR:
Now is the time to pass comprehensive reform that provides a roadmap to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans, creates a fair and equitable immigration system, protects the needs of workers and respects the dignity of all families. Immigration reform is unquestionably a boon to our economy that would remove uncertainty from the lives of so many families, who would finally be able to earn higher wages and pursue the American Dream.
Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund:
When a newly re-elected and a newly energized Democratic President, a rising star in the conservative movement and a standard bearer for the Tea Party all agree on immigration reform with a path to citizenship, the prospects for workable and humane reform this year are very good. In fact, one of the few bipartisan standing ovations at the State of theUnionwas in response to President Obama’s call for immigration reform.
Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance:
But we must be careful that the road to citizenship for aspiring Americans does not become an obstacle course with unrealistic requirements. Millions have already waited for years, while helping to build the economy in many industries – not only science and tech. Undocumented domestic workers care for our children, our homes and our elderly. Their work makes all other work possible. It’s time we makeAmericawork for all of us.
Jennifer S. Korn, Executive Director of Hispanic Leadership Network (HLN):
For a president who campaigned heavily in 2008 for immigration reform and didn’t deliver for the last five years, his speech fell short of the leadership and conviction needed to spark a solution that fixes our broken immigration system. This issue is so complex, the President needs to lead, not just direct Congress. HLN will continue advocating for and doing everything we can so that the broken immigration system is fixed once and for all.
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights ofLos Angeles(CHIRLA):
It is time we create a fair, achievable path to citizenship, not an obstacle course. America’s greatest achievements have been possible with the blood, sweat, and tears of immigrants from throughout the world who view this country as the land of opportunity, not the land of second-class castes.
The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO):
We were also pleased to see the President express his strong commitment to working with Congress on bipartisan legislation to make the American dream a reality for millions of hardworking and law abiding immigrants. While the economy remains the top concern of Latinos, immigration continues to be a deeply personal issue for the community. The nation has struggled as a result of our broken immigration system for far too long. It is time for the President and Congress to act in the best interests of the country by instituting a fair and humane system that will ensure immigrants are brought out of the shadows and into the light. Immigrants and their families play a vital role in the success of this country, and their full integration into our rich civic life will help ensure the country and its economy continues to thrive. We urge the President and Congress to build on the common ground they have established in recent weeks and take swift action on legislation that will provide a pathway to citizenship for the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants contributing to the country today.
The National Coalition for the Immigrant Women’s Rights:
“We’re encouraged by the President’s continued support for the comprehensive immigration policy reform our country desperately needs. Tonight the President, whose guests included members of our community fighting for reform, like a young activist, a Latino service member, an Asian American hero, a Filipino nurse and a naturalized citizen fromHaiti, called for stronger families, stronger communities and a strongerAmerica.
Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez, GetEQUAL’s national field director:
President Obama continues to push for a version of immigration reform that focuses entirely on enforcement instead of laying out a progressive vision that would put 11 million people on a pathway to citizenship and would include all of our families. As someone who would qualify for the DREAM Act and who is part of a binational family, I know first-hand that true comprehensive immigration reform must include LGBTQ families, a fair and just pathway to citizenship, and an end to harsh enforcement that separates families.