LAS VEGAS, NV - The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) today congratulated President Obama for urging Congress and our nation to work together on an immigration plan that includes a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants now in the country without documents.
SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry and International Secretary-Treasurer Eliseo Medina issued the following statements:
SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry:
"President Obama is leading America into a new chapter of our history by offering a bold, commonsense immigration plan that would help expand the middle class and strengthen our nation and economy. His speech today in Las Vegas is a powerful reflection of public sentiment - now is the time to fix our broken immigration system.
"As a nation, we collectively believe that if you work hard, you should be able to provide for your family, and you should be able to get ahead. This shared value, opportunity for those who seek it, is remarkable because it is inclusive of all people, no matter their race, gender or place of birth. Public will is on the side of immigration reform because we the people know it's the right thing to do for hardworking immigrants who aspire to fully participate in our democracy.
"Passing commonsense, accountable immigration reform is also about a shared commitment to strengthening our economy. Lifting 11 million undocumented workers out of the underground economy would lift wages for every American while generating billions in additional tax revenue.
"We're committed to immigration reform, and we will do everything we can to remind lawmakers that our nation deserves comprehensive reform that builds our economy and is true to our heritage as a prosperous nation built by immigrants."
SEIU International Secretary-Treasurer Eliseo Medina:
"As President Obama asked for our votes last year, he promised to act on commonsense immigration reform, and now he is keeping his word. He is to be congratulated for taking on an issue that, only a year ago, was considered a political nonstarter on Capitol Hill even though the American public has long favored commonsense reform.
"President Obama's words today were a profound reminder that our greatness as a nation comes from the people who built it, the workers who sustain it, and our children who will be our future leaders, engineers, teachers and military service members, regardless of their country of origin or ancestry.
"We are encouraged that, as the President released his proposals, a bipartisan group of Senators issued its own plan and House members are similarly engaged. Good. We all agree the time is now to enact immigration reform. It is going to take Democrats and Republicans to roll up their sleeves and work together. We look forward to seeing a bill on the President's desk this year."