Washington, DC – President Obama was right to focus on the economy and jobs in his State of the Union address tonight, because the economic downturn is a concern of every American. He was also right to talk about immigration reform for a simple reason: immigration reform will make our economy stronger and fairer by lifting wages, reducing the deficit, and creating jobs.
“Rather than avoiding it, immigration reform should be seen by lawmakers of both parties as low-hanging fruit. Solving it will reap real benefits for all Americans,” said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice. “By requiring undocumented immigrants in the U.S. to become legal residents, pay taxes, study English and work towards citizenship, we will generate billions in new tax revenues, help American workers and honest employers now undercut by dishonest employers who game the system to gain an unfair advantage, and reduce illegal immigration dramatically.”
“Time and again, Americans have demanded that their leaders stop playing politics and start problem solving. As recent elections have shown, the power of independent voters is growing as their frustration with the two-party standoff grows,” Sharry said. “President Obama understands that issues such as immigration reform cut across all partisan and demographic groups and pose an opportunity to solve a problem that benefits every single American. Woe to members of Congress who continue to insist that immigration is a lightening rod issue. The lightening rod is an angry electorate. Doing nothing on this issue is a major endorsement of the status quo.
“The American people understand, maybe better than even members of Congress do, that challenging times call for practical, sensible solutions.”