National Immigration Law Center
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State of the Union | January 2014


January 28, 2014

Adela de la Torre, 213-674-2832,

Obama’s “Year of Action” Should Include Curbing Deportations and Reforming Immigration System

National Immigration Law Center Responds to State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON — President Obama presented a bold vision for alleviating income inequality and increasing economic opportunity this evening during his annual State of the Union Address. The president also reiterated his support for reforming our immigration system, stating, “When people come here to fulfill their dreams . . . they make our country a more attractive place for businesses to locate and create jobs for everyone.”

Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, an advocacy organization dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of low-income immigrants:

“The staggering wage gap between the rich and the poor threatens to become a permanent scar in our nation’s economic fabric, and President Obama has rightly sounded the alarm to address this important issue. Our labor laws are woefully out of date, the federal minimum wage fails to keep full-time workers out of poverty, working women continue to earn less than men, and the holes in our social safety net threaten to grow larger every day. Simply put, the status quo — especially for those struggling to get onto the ladder of opportunity — is unacceptable.

“As President Obama has done in his previous State of the Union addresses, he once again called on Congress to enact immigration reform, which would lift the floor for all workers, improve our economy, cut our deficit, and reduce income inequality. Tonight’s speech should remind members of the audience — on both sides of the aisle — that while they may need immigration reform to secure their political futures, our country needs immigration reform to shore up economic stability.

“President Obama called 2014 a “year of action,” but this action shouldn’t be limited to the halls of Congress. The president has a moral responsibility toward the family members of the immigrants in the capitol tonight and throughout the country to prevent aspiring citizens from being deported due to congressional inaction. We urge President Obama to end the moral crisis caused by his administration’s record-breaking level of deportations and ensure that those who aspire to contribute their full potential to their adopted country can live free from fear of deportation until they are able to earn their citizenship.”

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