Faces of all colors stood together in Sacramento praising the president’s speech on immigration reform Tuesday.
“People in California welcome this approach to put immigration reform as a priority,” said Lino Pedres VP for the United Service Workers West.
President Obama congratulated senators for their bipartisan immigration reform efforts, but warned that something must be done quickly.
“It is important to recognize that the foundation for bipartisan action is already in place, and if congress is unable to move forward in a timely fashion, I will send up a bill based on my proposal and insist they vote on it right away,” the president said Tuesday.
The president urged congress to act on a comprehensive approach for a quicker path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.
The plan senators announced yesterday aligned closely with the presidents goals to overhaul the legal immigration system, crack down on employers who hire undocumented workers, and a key provision, tighter border security.
“We need a high skilled labor force. We can not do it with the 11 million families hiding in the shadows. They need to come out of the shadows and be a vibrant part of our success,” said Bill Camp with the Sacramento Central Labor Council
While some feared tighter boarder security would mean more unsupervised power for agents to abuse, most proponents see the reform as a good first step
Conservative groups criticize the proposal as amnesty for undocumented immigrants.
Others say it sends the wrong message by letting people who came here illegally off the hook.