Last night, President Obama addressed the nation and laid out the steps he'll be taking -- within his executive authority as President -- to start fixing America's broken immigration system:
"I continue to believe that the best way to solve this problem is by working together to pass that kind of common-sense law," the President said. He noted, however, that House Republicans continue to block a bipartisan immigration bill that the Senate passed a year and a half ago.
"To those Members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed," he said, "I have one answer: Pass a bill."
Already, a number of people -- ranging from prominent politicians and members of Congress to media personalities and other organizations -- have voiced their strong support for the President's action. Take a look what they had to say on Twitter:
Thanks to POTUS for taking action on immigration in the face of inaction. Now let’s turn to permanent bipartisan reform. #ImmigrationAction— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 21, 2014
I fully support the President's action on #immigration—it will bolster the economy & end the exploitation of many undocumented workers. -RB— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) November 21, 2014
Immigration reform was passed w/ bi-partisan support last year but House GOP has obstructed the vote so I’m glad POTUS is moving forward.— James E. Clyburn (@Clyburn) November 21, 2014
President Obama's #ImmigrationAction is a first step towards fixing an immigration system that is inhumane and cruel.— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) November 21, 2014
The President did what was right, fair, and just to bring our fellow human beings out of the shadows and into the light.— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) November 21, 2014
"Our immigration system is broken, and everybody knows it." --President Obama. And he's right— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) November 21, 2014
Genuinely emotional president - “all of us were strangers once too.”— John Avlon (@JohnAvlon) November 21, 2014
I applaud the President's action: https://t.co/6MQxGLSfOm— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) November 21, 2014
And here are a few more statements in support:
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton:
"I support the President’s decision to begin fixing our broken immigration system and focus finite resources on deporting felons rather than families. I was hopeful that the bipartisan bill passed by the Senate in 2013 would spur the House of Representatives to act, but they refused even to advance an alternative. Their abdication of responsibility paved the way for this executive action, which follows established precedent from Presidents of both parties going back many decades. But, only Congress can finish the job by passing permanent bipartisan reform that keeps families together, treats everyone with dignity and compassion, upholds the rule of law, protects our borders and national security, and brings millions of hard-working people out of the shadows and into the formal economy so they can pay taxes and contribute to our nation’s prosperity. Our disagreements on this important issue may grow heated at times, but I am confident that people of good will and good faith can yet find common ground. We should never forget that we’re not discussing abstract statistics – we’re talking about real families with real experiences. We’re talking about parents lying awake at night afraid of a knock on the door that could tear their families apart, people who love this country, work hard, and want nothing more than a chance to contribute to the community and build better lives for themselves and their children."
Gov. Deval Patrick, Massachusetts:
"I am grateful for the President's leadership. By calling for action on comprehensive reform legislation, he has not ignored the Congress's authority, and by using his executive authority as he has, he has not ignored his own. America's enduring strength is her appeal to the hunger in the human heart for freedom, equality, opportunity, and fair play. That has brought aspirants to our shores for centuries, to renew and replenish our culture and our economy. We need to fix the rules that govern how they come and deal with the reality that, in the land of the free, some of our neighbors, friends and coworkers live in the shadows."
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors:
"For more than a decade the nation’s mayors have called for repairs to our broken immigration system. We applaud the President's actions today, which are consistent with the adopted policy of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. They will ensure that millions of undocumented immigrants, who want to play by the rules and pay taxes, are protected from deportation and made eligible to work. These actions will not only stabilize families and communities, they will strengthen the American economy and our national security. We look forward to assisting the Administration in this effort."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.):
"Today’s immigration announcement is great news for families in Nevada and across the country. Millions of families in our nation and thousands in Nevada will no longer have to live in fear of losing a loved one to deportation. The President’s executive action will not only keep families together, it will enforce our immigration laws in a way that protects our national security and public safety. It will strengthen our economy by creating new jobs and allowing these families to fully contribute to the only country they call home. The American people have waited for us to fix our country’s broken immigration system. The Senate passed a strong bipartisan comprehensive immigration bill over a year ago that would have permanently fixed our broken immigration system. Sadly, House Republicans have demonstrated that they are more interested in playing partisan politics than doing what is right for our country. They ask for more time but we have given them plenty of time, 511 days to be exact. The House let millions of families languish while passing measures to revoke Deferred Action and deport DREAMers, leaving the President no option but to take matters into his own hands. The President’s executive action is a good first step; however it is only a temporary solution. President Obama is doing what he can within his well-established constitutional authority but nothing replaces Congress acting on comprehensive immigration reform. So today, while I thank President Obama for his decisive action, I ask my Republican colleagues to put their partisan politics aside and focus their efforts on passing legislation that will permanently fix our broken immigration system. I will continue to fight until we make immigration reform a reality."
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.):
“Tonight, President Obama announced bold action to bring our broken immigration system into line with our values as a people and our needs as a nation. The President’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions will secure our borders, prioritize enforcement, and provide relief to millions of hard-working, law-abiding families who may now have a happy Thanksgiving free from the fear of separation. The President’s actions fall well within the clear constitutional and legal authority of his office, and the well-established precedent set by every president since Eisenhower. Even Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush used this authority to refine our immigration system in service of the national interest. Executive action is no substitute for legislation, and the President’s action does not absolve Congress of its own responsibility. Democrats will continue to demand action on bipartisan immigration legislation that will provide lasting certainty to immigrant families, and secure the billions of dollars in economic benefits Republicans’ inaction has denied our country.”