Congressman Phil Gingrey (R-GA), a Member of the Reclaim American Jobs Caucus and an Executive Member of the Immigration Reform Caucus, released the following statement today in response to President's speech on comprehensive immigration reform:
"Today the President missed a golden opportunity to reassure the American people that their safety and security are his foremost priorities. Instead, President Obama made it clear that his focus is -- as usual -- pushing his own partisan agenda through his so-called "comprehensive immigration reform.' Illegal immigration and border security are complex issues, and we need to do a better job enforcing our current immigration laws while ensuring we do not pass any bill that will provide amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. Moving forward, we must work together in a bipartisan way to strengthen our borders and protect the lives and jobs of citizens in this country," said Congressman Gingrey.
The Reclaim American Jobs Caucus noted that the number of illegal immigrants in the labor force equals more than half of the total number of unemployed Americans in 16 states and the District of Columbia. They are Arizona, New Jersey, Maryland, Texas, Nevada, California, Utah, New York, Virginia, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Nebraska, Hawaii, Delaware, and North Carolina. These states represent 53 percent of the population. Also, according to Homeland Security Statistics, Georgia has the seventh highest number of illegal immigrants in the nation.
An Associated Press poll this month found that only 36 percent of Americans approve of the President's handling of immigration and only 42 percent of Americans approve of the way President Obama is handling unemployment. The Reclaim American Jobs Caucus recognizes that this is no coincidence--illegal immigration and unemployment are directly linked.