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Friday, June 19, 2009

Mr. President, Your speech was great, but we need action on Immigration Reform Now

For Immediate Release
June 19, 2009

Francisco Lopez, Executive Director: (503) 269-5694
Erik Sorensen, Communications Director: (503) 488-0263

Mr. President, Your speech was great, but we need action on Immigration Reform Now

During a speech today at the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast, President Obama once again highlighted his desire to pass comprehensive immigration reform. The speech was wonderful and drew a loud applause from all those in earshot.

We especially like the part where the President said, “Together, we must build a future where the promise of America is kept for a new generation…and keeping this promise means upholding America's tradition as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. Those things aren't contradictory; they're complementary. That's why I'm committed to passing comprehensive immigration reform as President of the United States.”

The only problem is, the White House has postponed a meeting twice that it set with key congressional leaders to discuss plans for passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. This begs the question about passing immigration reform, “If not now, Mr. President, when?”

At the New York Times today, the editorial board called on President Obama to “break the stalemate on immigration soon” because he owes it to the “undocumented immigrants whose lives have been made miserable under a cruel, ill-conceived enforcement crusade that was concocted in the last administration and survives into this one.” So we ask, “Mr. President, if not now, when?”

Yesterday, Cardinal Francis George on behalf of the National Conference of Bishops called Immigration Reform a “pressing humanitarian issue” saying that, “As a moral matter, we must resolve the legal status of those who are here without proper documentation so that they can fully contribute their talents to our nation*s economic, social and spiritual well being.”

So we ask again, “Mr. President, if not now, when?”

Today, CAUSA issued a statement on the recent termination of about 250 immigrant employees from Meduri Farms in what is being coined a “desktop raid”. The sad situation for these workers and their families is one that is due to the failed immigration policy of the United States and can only be rectified through a fair and just immigration reform.

So yet again, we ask, “Mr. President, if not now, when?”

And because we understand that President Obama cannot do this alone, we pose the same question to Congress, “if not now, when?”

While both the President and members of Congress continue to talk about the importance of passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform, people are suffering daily under our broken immigration system. We don’t need more speeches; we need serious and concerted action.

So Mr. President, while we applaud you for the great speech you gave at the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast this morning, we need you and members of Congress to work together to come up with a plan to pass comprehensive immigration reform this year. This important humanitarian issue cannot wait any longer.


Immigration: It's Time (New York Times, Editorial June 19, 2009)

Cardinal George, Bishops Ask President Obama, Congress To Enact Comprehensive Immigration Reform Before End Of 2009 (USCCB, June 19, 2009)

Desktop Raids, a New Policy of Obama Administration comes to Oregon (CAUSA News, June 19, 2009)

Remarks by the President at the Esperanza National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast



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