FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Adela de la Torre, NILC, (213) 674-2832; firstname.lastname@example.org
LOS ANGELES — In a speech in El Paso, Texas, President Obama today reiterated his commitment to reforming the nation’s badly broken immigration system. The president talked about how immigration has helped make this country stronger and more prosperous, and how immigration reform is an “economic imperative.” Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:
“From the heart of one of the nation’s safest cities and busiest border crossings, President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to a comprehensive solution to fix this nation’s outdated and badly broken immigration system. We couldn’t agree more: the status quo of 1,100 deportations per day is no longer acceptable, nor are the extreme and unconstitutional measures currently being explored and implemented by states.
“For too long, our families and communities have been torn apart because politicians have pursued problematic policies in order to ‘look tough’ on immigration. The result has led to major socioeconomic instability for this nation’s immigrant families and for all our communities.
“A few extremist members of Congress have helped fuel an anti-immigrant fervor by proposing economically disastrous and unrealistic proposals, like mandatory electronic employment verification for all businesses in the country. Such proposals are but a veneer to hide their mass-deportation strategy, and threaten to undermine the economic growth we all hope for.
“Worse, frustration at federal inaction has led Utah and Arizona to adopt extremist, unconstitutional measures that threaten fundamental rights for countless people of color. Though the most egregious provisions of the Arizona law have been blocked, and the Utah law has been temporarily delayed, other states, including Georgia, threaten to go down the same divisive and unconstitutional path.”
“Obama’s leadership is needed now more than ever to ensure that humane immigration reform remains on the federal to-do list. He now needs to spur his colleagues in Washington into action on this top economic and social issue, while vigorously defending the U.S. Constitution in response to states like Utah that want to deny civil rights and liberties to its residents.”