Urgency exists for both parties in the Senate to move on our broken immigration system this year

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) welcomed the speech today by President Obama, and supports his call on Congress to provide real legislative solutions to this important issue for all Americans. NHLA continues to put forward a clear framework for immigration reform, which focuses on the needs of everyone in the U.S., families, businesses, state and local governments and law enforcement, and acknowledges the visceral problems with our broken immigration system that need critical solutions.

“The President reiterated what our communities are feeling on the ground every day: Our immigration system is not working and all Americans acknowledge this. We believe that only with the active and continued leadership of President Obama and aggressive action by Congress, particularly the Senate Republican Caucus can we move forward on this critical issue. We need to put forward solutions that provide a path to legalization for those that are currently residing here out of legal status, reforms our existing process of legal migration in a way that fairly and effectively addresses the needs of future flows of immigrants, and addresses our economy’s labor needs while strongly protecting workers from exploitation and mistreatment of any sort,” stated Lillian Rodríguez-López, NHLA Chair.

“With our economy beginning to recover, the President highlighted what should be common knowledge to all; immigration reform is a necessary piece of economic recovery. Immigrants contribute to this nation economically, directly help the United States stay competitive globally, and are a critical piece to ensuring the country has revenues from taxes, and can continue entitlement programs such as social security by paying into the system, which supports the country’s economy and ability to provide social services to all Americans.” stated Brent Wilkes, Executive Director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, an NHLA member organization

While NHLA believes enforcement provisions need to be one part of the overall solution, the organization also supports the constitutional reality that enforcement of immigration laws is within the sole purview of the federal government. NHLA continues to call on the Justice Department to challenge the legality of Arizona state law SB 1070.

Román D. Hernández, President of the Hispanic National Bar Association went on to say: “We believe our government requires the capacity to enforce the rule of law, and this can only be attained through federal comprehensive immigration reform. Most of the legislation that makes up the hodgepodge of local and state laws attempting to address a federal immigration system violate fundamental principles of our Constitution and our form of government and, as highlighted by the President, take resources away from law enforcement officers and cripples their ability to investigate and prosecute crimes.”

NHLA looks forward to continuing its work with the Administration and Congress in bringing forth immigration reform legislation which will once and for all execute a national immigration policy that promotes the economic well being of our nation and grants the respect that hardworking immigrants deserve for their sacrifice and dedication to our nation.

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