Senators Udall and Heinrich Respond to President Obama’s Immigration Announcement

New Mexico’s United States Senators responded to President Obama’s executive action on immigration with statements of support Thursday night.

U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement on the president’s decision to take executive action on immigration:

“Over 40,000 people in New Mexico and millions more around the country are living in immigration limbo while they work and raise families here in the United States. Deporting these children and families isn’t a realistic option. We need to focus our limited resources on securing the border and going after drug dealers, gang members and potential terrorists.

“New Mexicans have seen firsthand the problems caused by House Republicans, who have dragged their feet on immigration for too long – it has been 511 days since the Senate passed a bipartisan comprehensive reform bill. Because the House won’t act, the president is justified in taking commonsense steps to fix our broken immigration system under existing law.

“The president is offering a temporary solution to keep families together, give employers who hire workers on visas more certainty about their workforce, and devote our limited resources to deporting dangerous criminals. It’s past time for Congress to work together on a permanent fix of our broken immigration system.”

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich released the following statement on the actions President Obama is taking to help fix our broken immigration system:

“The President’s proposal is a good first step toward fixing our nation’s broken immigration system. This executive action cracks down on illegal immigration at the border and prioritizes deporting felons rather than families. It also requires undocumented workers to pass a background check and pay their taxes. Those are common sense steps and well within the executive authority used by Presidents like Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush to deal with these same issues. However, only Congress can finish the job and fix the entire immigration system.

“Last year, the Senate passed a common-sense, bipartisan immigration bill that dramatically increases resources at our nation’s border, will grow our economy, and prioritizes keeping families together. Yet here we are, more than 500 days later, and Speaker Boehner still refuses to allow a vote on this legislation. That’s not leadership, it’s obstruction. Speaker Boehner needs to stop his activist litigation and do his job by passing legislation. If House Republicans genuinely want to fix our immigration laws and make our policies crystal clear, they would pass the Senate’s bipartisan immigration bill now.

“As the son of an immigrant, I know how important reform is for families across New Mexico. Our immigrant communities have helped write the economic, social, and cultural story of America. New Mexicans are eager for a solution, DREAM Act students deserve a solution, and our economy requires a solution.

“I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass a permanent solution to fix our nation’s broken immigration system. America will be better for it.”