Ed. note: This post is the fourth in a series of five. Check back on the White House Blog throughout the week for more statements from leaders around the country.
Last week, we heard from state and local officials from across the South, Northeast, and Midwest United States about why they support immigration reform and how it will help their communities. Today, officials in the Southwest explain why the time is now to fix the broken immigration system.
"Federal immigration policies have a direct impact on Denver’s residents and Denver’s economy. We need long-overdue reforms that keep our communities strong, keep families together, ensure an adequate labor force for a growing economy and maintain the safety of all of our residents. I applaud President Obama for moving forward with fortitude and pushing Washington to rise above partisan gridlock and craft reasonable, sensible changes."
Denver, Colorado Mayor Michael Hancock
"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."
Mesa, Arizona Mayor Scott Smith
“Congress must pass comprehensive immigration reform. It is both a practical and a human necessity. In Santa Fe, New Mexico hard-working immigrant families make important contributions to our community every day. They are business owners, workers, students, artists, musicians, parents, police officers and members of our Armed Services. I want all immigrant family members in Santa Fe and across our country to have their basic rights and be able to become full participants in our communities. They need a legal path to citizenship. It will make my town and our country stronger.”
Santa Fe, New Mexico Mayor David Coss
"I would like to see a bipartisan solution that results in immigration policies that can be enforced and respected by those on both sides of our borders. We appreciate the cooperative work being done in that regard by President Obama and the Senate."
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Mayor Mick Cornett
"In Salt Lake City, we laud and support the effort to construct and enact comprehensive federal immigration reform. We hope a fundamental re-working will recognize the important role our immigrant population plays in our economy, work to keep families unified, establish an earned but attainable path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and keep our borders secure. In Salt Lake City, as in cities and towns across the nation, our immigrant population is an integrated part of our community –finding a humane approach to this reality will say much about our commitment as a nation to a free, civil and tolerant society."
Salt Lake City, Utah Mayor Ralph Becker
“Like many Nevadans, I'm the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants. When my grandfather came to the US, he came with nothing. My great grandmother sewed Levi jeans; and he cleaned fireplaces after school. They wanted a better life and they were willing to work hard to get it. Eventually they were able to work their way into the middle class. I am the first person in my family to graduate from college, but I could never have achieved my dreams if they hadn't been able to reach for theirs. This is what America is all about - hard work, opportunity, fairness and security for every family. I support common sense immigration reform that is tough, fair and practical; reform that provides a path for citizenship, broadens our tax base, and ensures the safety and security of all our residents. Inaction is not an option. We must keep the vision and values of America alive and well.”
Nevada State Treasurer Kate Marshall
"I’m the Mayor of San Antonio, and at the local level, we see every day what happens when people put aside their ideology and partisan labels and actually get things done. And what we have here is the opportunity for Democrats and Republicans -- people on both sides of the aisle -- to actually get something done in Washington, D.C. that’s going to boost America’s economy and fix our broken immigration system, and they ought to get it done soon."
San Antonio, Texas Mayor Julián Castro
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