This is historical material “frozen in time”. The website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work.

Search form

State and Local Officials Across the Country Urge Action to Fix the Nation’s Broken Immigration System

Following President Obama's speech on commonsense immigration reform, bipartisan state and local elected officials across the country spoke out about the President’s remarks and urged swift action.


President Obama delivers remarks on immigration at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Jan. 29, 2013

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on immigration at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nev., Jan. 29, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

On Tuesday, President Obama traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada to speak about the need to fix the nation’s broken immigration system and his commonsense reform proposal. Following the speech, bipartisan state and local elected officials across the country spoke out about the President’s remarks and urged swift action. 
"Far too often the burdens of this broken system fall on local governments, and failure to act on this issue is increasingly detrimental to the livelihood of our cities and towns. Comprehensive immigration reform will provide municipal leaders the critical support necessary to integrate immigrants into our communities, and allow them to contribute both economically and culturally to our wonderful, diverse nation.”
Mesa, Arizona Mayor Scott Smith:
"I thank the President for starting the formal consideration of immigration reform by laying out his vision and principles.  This is an important economic and social issue that has languished unresolved for too long. Now is the time for Washington to come together and take action."
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick:
“For a long time now we have needed comprehensive reform of our immigration laws, both to fix a broken system and to affirm American values.  I congratulate the President on proposing such a fix, and am heartened by the bipartisan interest in the Congress in prompt action.”
El Paso, Texas Mayor John Cook:
“As the mayor of a border community and founder of the U.S.-Mexico Border Mayors Association, I am encouraged that the Congress seems prepared to follow the President’s lead and tackle comprehensive immigration reform.” 
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller:
“Our nation’s federal immigration laws and policies are broken, and an overhaul is long overdue.  I support President Obama’s leadership in trying to reform our nation’s immigration system.  The President’s comprehensive proposal secures our borders, provides a clear path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants who act responsibly, and holds businesses accountable when they hire people who aren’t here legally.”
Fresno, California Mayor Ashley Swearengin, who attended the President’s speech:
"Today, the President put a spotlight on the critical issue of immigration reform.  In the Fresno Region, we experience firsthand the impacts that a broken immigration system has on our regional economy.  Our farmers suffer when they don't have a reliable workforce, and when our farmers suffer, we feel it in the City of Fresno. We are grateful the President and our nation's leaders are taking up this issue and are committed to helping find solutions to this complicated issue."
“Today's immigration speech by President Obama, coming on the heels of yesterday's announcement of bipartisan agreement on reform principles by the Senate ‘Gang of Eight,’ shows that there is broad support to modernize our immigration system in a way that helps grow our economy and attract the world’s most talented and hardest-working.”
California Speaker of the Assembly John Perez, who attended the President's speech:
“This must be the year that we address one of the critical issues facing California and the rest of the nation. I believe the President’s leadership, alongside the bipartisan proposal unveiled in the United States Senate yesterday, sets the stage for a productive and successful effort to pass and implement comprehensive immigration reform.”
Atlanta, Georgia Mayor Kasim Reed, who attended the President’s speech:
“There is no doubt that the economic, social and cultural contributions of immigrants continue to enrich our cities and communities. We cannot ever forget that immigrants have helped make our nation stronger. This is an issue of great importance here in Georgia, and as such, I support President Barack Obama’s proposal to achieve meaningful, comprehensive immigration reform.”
“The President’s proposals will allow the individuals we train in our world-class institutions to develop new technologies and create jobs in our own country rather than overseas. They will allow families to stay together and millions of our neighbors to step out of the shadows and into active roles in our communities.”
“President Obama’s immigration-reform proposal today pulls everyone who can contribute to our success out the shadows and gives them a chance to work and to play by the same rules as everybody else. His plan lays the essential groundwork for our economic success and the future of the American Dream, not only in Minneapolis but in every corner of our country.”
“We have a historic opportunity to get reform right, and it is vital that we do not fail.  Legislation must include a clear pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million undocumented individuals currently living in the shadows. That path should be a fair process, not a punishment.”
“Immigrants and their families play a vital role in this country, and their full integration into the fabric of our civic life will help ensure our nation and its economy thrives for years to come.  We applaud the President and the U.S. Senate for making progress on this issue and ask Congress to act on a bipartisan legislative solution to the nation’s broken immigration system.”
Charlotte, North Carolina Mayor Anthony Foxx:
“The President reminded us today that nearly all Americans come from someplace else and, in one generation or other, lived the immigrant story.   In fact, these millions of stories over hundreds of years make up an essential part of the American Dream.  For that reason and because we have so much economic potential languishing under our broken immigration system, the President is right: we can no longer afford to sweep this issue under the rug.  The time to act is now."  
“Immigration reform in our nation is long overdue, and I applaud President Obama for his comprehensive plan to fix our broken immigration system. This plan will strengthen border security while providing a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States. Most importantly, it will keep families together.”
“Today our elected leaders in Washington took an important step towards fixing a broken immigration system that has slowed the economic and social progress of our nation and its people for far too long.”
You can read the President’s full remarks and check out a fact sheet of the President’s proposal.