WASHINGTON, D.C. — In his State of the Union address tonight, President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to bipartisan immigration reform in 2013, including a path to citizenship for those who aspire to become fully American. The following is a statement by Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum:
“It is good to hear the president emphasize again the importance of commonsense, bipartisan immigration reform in 2013. The president’s comments are in line with the strong framework recently announced by a bipartisan group of senators, which should serve as the starting point for the imminent immigration-reform debate in Congress.
“The senators’ principles include a roadmap to earned citizenship for hardworking immigrants. A process that ends in citizenship is not extreme, as some members of the House Judiciary Committee implied last week. Across the board, American voters strongly support earned citizenship and are uncomfortable with the idea of creating permanent second-class residents for whom the American dream is always just beyond reach.
“The call for a 21st century immigration system is loud and clear, not only from the president but also from Americans of all political stripes. Including, as we have seen over and over again over the past two years, Americans who hold a Bible, wear a badge or own a business. It is time for Congress to seize the moment and work together to make reform a reality.”