Reaction to Obama’s immigration reform
WASHINGTON (AP) – People across the political divide as well as those involved with immigration reform have been reacting to the announcement by United States President Barack Obama.
Last night, Obama unveiled expansive executive actions on immigration last night to spare nearly five million people in the United States illegally from deportation.
“I think the president will come to regret the chapter history writes if he does move forward. Because the plan he’s presenting is more than just, as the president himself has acknowledged, an overreach – it’ also unfair.” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.
“The president’s decision is not a political victory. It’s a victory for families. We know well that this decision is not a permanent solution. It is a first step. If we had it our way, President Obama would be signing a comprehensive immigration bill into law instead of an executive action, but can’t sit idly by waiting for Republicans to act while homes are being broken up all across this nation.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
“Instead of working together to fix our broken immigration system, the president says he’s acting on his own. That’s just not how our democracy works. The president has said before that ‘he’s not king’ and he’s ‘not an emperor’, but he’s sure acting like one.” House Speaker John Boehner.
“I was hopeful that the bipartisan bill passed by the Senate in 2013 would spur the House of Representatives to act, but they refused even to advance an alternative. Their abdication of responsibility paved the way for this executive action, which follows established precedent from presidents of both parties going back many decades.” Hillary Rodham Clinton.
“This is the biggest victory for immigrants and their allies in the past 25 years. We rejoice with the millions who can come forward, get a work permit and live without fear. Giving some five million immigrants a chance to work legally and live in dignity, combined with the end of the misnamed Secure Communities program, is a significant step towards bringing our dysfunctional immigration system into balance after years of ramped up deportations, out-of-control enforcement and millions of families being ripped apart.” Frank Sharry, founder and executive director of America’s Voice, an immigration advocacy organisation.
“Americans are tired of Congress failing to act while families are ripped apart. It’s time to move on. We respect the President’s legal authority to act on behalf of our community, and we hope these common sense actions prod Congress to pass comprehensive immigration once and for all. Only Congress can finish the job.” Cristóbal Alex, president of Latino Victory Project.
“President Obama’s unconstitutional plan to reward millions of law-breaking foreign citizens with work permits is especially outrageous at a time of labour surplus and sustained wage depression for American workers and legal immigrants already here.” Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, an immigration control group.