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The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund, reacting to today’s immigration speech from President Obama:
President Obama today provided another reminder why we are optimistic about immigration reform in 2013. During the President’s speech, he laid down a clear and important marker for the impending debate by saying it ‘must be clear from the outset that there is a pathway to citizenship.’
While the President’s vision and the bipartisan Senators’ principles have some differences – for example, the White House framework does not tie earned citizenship to border security triggers, provides greater importance to family unity and expanding family-based visas, and rightfully treats same sex families as families under the eyes of the law – the broad parameters of a workable immigration system are consistent and the will to move past partisanship in the pursuit of reform are shared.
The country and the major players are committed to delivering immigration reform with citizenship in 2013. Now is the time. As the President said today, the ‘foundation for bipartisan action is already in place,’ and we are ‘finally at a moment where comprehensive immigration reform is within our grasp.’ We agree and thank both President Obama and the bipartisan Senate group for moving immigration reform that much closer to reality.