National Immigration Law Center
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Presidential Candidates' Debate

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 17, 2012

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Adela de la Torre


CANDIDATES’ SECOND DEBATE

Finally, Talk About Immigration


HEMPSTEAD, NEW YORK – Immigration finally reached the debate stage last night, as presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama were asked how they would handle the issue of 11 million people living in the United States without green cards. The issue, which was largely sidestepped in both the previous presidential debate and the vice presidential debate, is often considered a top issue among key voting blocs, including Latinos. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“Tonight, both President Obama and Governor Romney correctly recognized that our immigration system must be reformed. For far too long, Washington has shown a lack of leadership on this issue, leaving in place a broken, inhumane, and unjust immigration system that has separated millions of hard-working families from their loved ones.

“The occupant of the Oval Office next January—whoever he may be—must act boldly and work closely with Congress to provide a fair plan for the members of our families and communities who contribute to this country every day but do not have a road to citizenship available to them. This historically bipartisan issue could send economic and societal relief to urban and rural communities alike.

“And while the need for immigration reform was raised briefly tonight, again too little attention was given to how our next president would lift families out of poverty. We must protect critical safety-net programs, such as the child tax credit and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps), if we are to achieve this goal. And addressing poverty, like immigration relief, must be met with action, not rhetoric.”

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