In the Northeast, Leaders Demand an Immigration System that Lives up to Our Heritage as a Nation of Laws and a Nation of Immigrants
Ed. note: This post is the third in a series of five. Check back on the White House Blog throughout the week for more statements from leaders around the country.
This week, we’ve heard the views of state and local officials in the South and Midwest who know that we need to fix the broken immigration system. Today, we hear from officials in the Northeast who explain how commonsense immigration reform is consistent with our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.
"A fair, sensible immigration policy made our country great, and has repeatedly renewed and enriched the City of Burlington throughout its history. One of the most inspiring experiences I've had as an elected official has been participating in a naturalization ceremony. Our immigrants serve our community as professors and farmers, skilled laborers and doctors; they are our neighbors, our students, our friends. Today's broken immigration system is out of step with the welcoming and supportive character our country should strive to demonstrate. By passing comprehensive immigration reform, we will strengthen America's economy, communities, and spirit."
Burlington, Vermont Mayor Miro Weinberger
“In the City of Hartford, reforming immigration laws could increase foreign professionals and skilled workers, immigrant populations could serve as conduits to export goods and services, and ultimately it could increase our tax base. Passing comprehensive immigration is right thing to do for our country's future and it's a decision our children and generations to come will be proud of."
Hartford, Connecticut Mayor Pedro Segarra
“I encourage Congress to enact bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform. America’s current immigration system is broken, harms our economy, and does not reflect our values as a nation. For years, the federal government has failed to address the issue and left our communities and states to deal with the effects. Now is the time to reform our nation’s immigration system to benefit all Americans, so that we can prosper as a nation. Managing the immigration process is a federal responsibility that requires a federal solution. I applaud the President for offering a comprehensive immigration plan and I hope that Congress will now work across party lines to find workable solutions.”
Delaware Governor Jack Markell
"The families and children who have come to the United States to escape torture and persecution deserve a clear pathway to citizenship. Our country's foundation was built by immigrants, many of whom came in search of safety and a life free of violence or political injustice. Streamlining immigration laws for those seeking asylum will help men, women and children reclaim their lives and become a part of a community that promises security, opportunity and freedom."
Portland, Maine Mayor Michael Brennan
“At the heart of Boston's thriving economy are the talents, perspectives, and entrepreneurial spirit of our city's immigrants. Our current system is unacceptable and so is inaction. We need an updated system that will keep hardworking families together and help us attract and retain the most talented graduates from our universities and abroad. We are a nation of immigrants, and today we have the opportunity to move our country forward together.”
Boston, Massachusetts Mayor Tom Menino
“Although illegal immigration is a major problem in our nation it is imperative that our elected officials work together in an effort to solve the dilemma. Posturing serves no useful purpose. Open discussion and compromise, without vitriol, is the only way to reach an amicable and mutually acceptable agreement. It is time to govern and forget the political posturing. Once elected, we serve all the people not just those who supported our efforts.”
Edison, New Jersey Mayor Antonia Ricigliano
“Our lawmakers in Washington working on immigration reform could benefit from the pragmatic, common sense spirit that we’re known for in New Hampshire. It’s pretty clear to me that if you are committed to justice, we can all agree on the basic principles of strengthening our borders, holding employers accountable for hiring undocumented workers, and providing a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million individuals who are already in this country. We also need to make sure that we’re recruiting and retaining the high skilled workers who have always been key to creating good paying jobs and growing the economy. I’m hopeful that Washington will do right by us and fix this broken system.”
New Hampshire State Senator David Pierce
“Our current immigration system is broken and must be repaired. While Immigration reform is a Federal issue, I strongly support reforms that will protect our borders, create jobs, and develop a system to address the millions of undocumented individuals living in the country.”
Baltimore, Maryland Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
“As Mayor of Providence, Rhode Island, I see first-hand the extraordinary contributions immigrants from all around the world make to our City every day. Whether it is a student traveling to Providence to pursue a college degree or an entrepreneur who has moved here to build a business, Providence benefits in extraordinary ways from its increasingly diverse population. For these reasons and more, I support a comprehensive plan to reform our nation’s broken immigration system. We need to create a viable pathway to citizenship for our undocumented immigrants and to fix our immigration processes for workers, students and the millions of others who continue to view America as the land of opportunity.”
Providence, Rhode Island Mayor Angel Taveras
“It's time to move from politics to policy by passing a bipartisan bill that brings an immigration system formed in the 1960s into a 21st century global economy.”
New York City, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg
“Morgantown West Virginia, the home of West Virginia University, benefits from the international vitality that comes with being a university community. Fixing our broken immigration system with fair, common sense reforms is essential to keeping Morgantown an attractive place for bright hardworking immigrants to live, work and raise a family. Let's get it done!”
Morgantown, West Virginia Council Member Bill Byrne
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