A collection of comments from around the country on President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address:
National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial on job creation and economic growth:
“We applaud President Obama for making clear his focus on job creation and preparing our youth for success in college, work and life as the keys to economic prosperity for our communities and country. We echo his call for swift passage of the American Jobs Act, which we believe will level the playing field for many Americans who have yet to benefit from the economic recovery.”
OneAmerica Executive Director Rich Stolz on immigration reform:
“Tonight the President affirmed his commitment to moving quickly on comprehensive immigration reform. Americans from across the political spectrum have spoken out in support of action on immigration reform now. We’re ready. And we expect Congress to act now.
As the President said: “We are citizens.” And that word doesn’t simply describe our nationality or legal status, but “describes what we believe.”
Our message to the President and to Congress is simply, ‘We’re ready.’ We’ve waited too long.”
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), on immigration reform:
“Tonight’s address was an indication of how important the topic of immigration reform has become. We understand the tough work begins Wednesday when the Senate Judiciary Committee holds the first of what will be many hearings on the most practical and compassionate way to create a direct path to citizenship for millions of contributing members of our society who do not have the required papers to live and work in the US.
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) on the economy, voting rights, and immigration reform
“Latinos have found it increasingly difficult to secure their piece of the American dream in recent years, largely as a result of the disproportionate effect of the foreclosure crisis and job loss within the community.
“While the economy remains the top concern of Latinos, immigration continues to be a deeply personal issue for the community. 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.
“We praise the President for also announcing the establishment of a new non-partisan Presidential voting commission to examine the nation’s flawed election system and telling the story of 102 year-old Florida voter Desiline Victor. Her experience was mirrored by hundreds of thousands of Americans nationwide in 2012”
Lawrence Benito, CEO, The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights on immigration reform:
We pleased that in his State of the Union Address this evening, President Barack Obama continues to make immigration reform a top priority of his legislative agenda this year. ICIRR remains deeply concerned that the White House and the Senate “Gang of 8” both focus excessively on further increases in border enforcement. At a time when unauthorized migration has dropped sharply and spending on immigration enforcement dwarfs the budgets of all other federal law enforcement, we question whether still more enforcement is needed—and whether a path to citizenship should be linked to such an escalation.
Democrats and Republicans need to work together to enact real solutions to fix our immigration system. If the United States is to continue to grow and prosper we need to find solutions that fulfill our basic values of keeping families together.