Foster Statement On Immigration Announcement
Washington, DC—Today, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) released the following statement on President Obama’s announcement of his plans to provide administrative relief for immigrants:
“We have ignored our broken immigration system for too long, and I am pleased that the President is taking action to improve our immigration system and provide temporary relief for some families. These actions which are long overdue, will prevent millions of families from being torn apart, provide visas for highly-skilled workers, and give many immigrants relief from the fear of deportation.
"Every day that leaders in Congress block comprehensive immigration reform, it costs taxpayers $37 million in lost revenue. The President's decision to issue work permits, so that immigrants with strong ties to America, who pass criminal background checks, can work legally and pay their taxes is a common sense solution that will benefit our economy.
“To those who say this should not be done with executive action, the answer is simple: bring comprehensive immigration reform up for a vote in the House. Like similar actions taken by his predecessors, including Presidents Reagan and Bush, President Obama’s actions will provide temporary relief, but what we really need is comprehensive immigration reform. It’s been nearly a year and a half since the Senate passed bipartisan immigration reform. Despite an outpouring of support from the business community, religious leaders, law enforcement, and people from all walks of life, House leadership refuses to allow a vote on comprehensive immigration reform.
“Any day, Speaker Boehner could wake up, listen to the teachings of his church, the business community, or the millions of Americans calling for action, and bring comprehensive immigration reform up for a vote – it would pass with strong bipartisan support, and become the law of the land. But we cannot continue to sit on the sidelines and wait for that day while families are being torn apart.”
President Obama is not the first to take executive action on immigration reform. Every President since the Eisenhower administration has taken executive action for immigrants. President Reagan provided relief to immigrants who had been denied asylum and President Bush expanded the Family Fairness program to provide legal status for more than 1.5 million undocumented spouses and children.