November 25, 2014

San Mateo, CA – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (San Francisco/San Mateo counties) issued the following statement on President Obama’s executive action on immigration:

“The President’s proposed executive action on immigration is both bold and well within the constitutional authority given to the Office of the President. With his announcement last week, he joins eleven U.S. Presidents, including Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, who have taken executive action on immigration 39 times over the last 60 years. For years now, Republicans in the House have refused to move the ball forward in fixing our broken immigration system. While the Senate has passed bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform, it has been more than 500 days since that vote, and Republican Leadership in the House has refused to even put the bill to a vote. It will take an estimated 3-6 months for the President to implement the first parts of his proposed deferred action programs. If Republicans don’t like the plan, then they have this time to debate and put a serious bill up for a vote. Until that vote happens, we need action now, and the President has stepped up where Republicans have failed.

“The President’s Executive Action improves national security and safety as we focus resources on those undocumented immigrants who pose a legitimate threat to our communities, instead of families and children. Deferred action does not provide amnesty, green card status, or even a pathway to citizenship – but it does provide temporary work permits, tax revenue, and a method to identify low-priority immigrants who are simply working to get by. This plan also promotes growth and innovation that will make our economy stronger.

“Executive action is a step in the right direction, but it is not the last step. Congress MUST fix our immigration system. Republicans have the power to take action, and I look forward to working with them on comprehensive immigration reform.”