SEIU Statement on President Obama's Speech on Immigration
Washington, D.C. -- Today, in response to President Barack Obama's speech at American University on the need for immigration reform, SEIU Executive Vice President Eliseo Medina issued the following statement:
"Those of us frustrated by perpetual inaction on immigration reform were reminded today that President Obama was elected President, not king. Despite his every effort to deliver a federal fix to our broken immigration system, the President cannot act alone.
"The smart, workable reform plan laid out by the President would target the bad actors that profit off of our broken immigration system, restore the rule of law, and move us forward together. But despite months of outreach by the President and Democrat lawmakers, where on earth are the Republicans?
"The GOP certainly is not on the side of America's working families - both native born and not - who are looking for immigration solutions to protect their communities.
"The GOP isn't on the side of taxpayers who are watching billions of their tax dollars wasted on failed 'enforcement' policies that only serve to push workers further underground.
"The GOP isn't on the side of small business owners who follow the law only to see that law skirted by opportunistic employers that exploit immigrants and drive down standards for workers.
"The GOP isn't on the side of working people who need the economic benefits including wage improvements that would come from comprehensive reform.
"Instead, the Republican Party has repeatedly chosen cynicism over progress; political grandstanding over smart policy. They have proposed senseless laws like Arizona's SB1070 that fan the flames of hate and fear, but fail to fix our serious immigration problems. The future they propose of a 50 state patchwork of ineffective immigration laws is unreasonable, unworkable, and fundamentally un-American.
"The only way we can deliver the immigration solutions that a vast majority of Americans support is if Republicans stop obstructing. They got elected to deal with tough problems; not test the political winds of political expediency. It's time for Republicans to get out of their political sandbox, stand up and lead."
With 2.2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers--not just corporations and CEOs--benefit from today's global economy.