Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) issued the following statement in response to President Obama's speech at American University today urging Congress to quickly pass comprehensive immigration reform.
President Obama's speech this morning was a clarion call to members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to replace our broken immigration system with one that works for America.
The American people are eager for Congress to fix this problem. No one--Democrat, Republican, or Independent--thinks the current system is working. We can all agree that it is unacceptable to have 11 million people living here illegally, outside the system.
I take pride in the fact that the American people are ahead of the politicians on this issue--three quarters of Americans support common sense comprehensive immigration reform which President Obama outlined today: strengthening border security; cracking down on employers who hire immigrants illegally; and requiring immigrants, who are here illegally, to register with the federal government, pay taxes, undergo background checks, and learn English.
There is only way to way to fix our broken immigration system and that is through federal action. Only Congress has the power to replace our broken immigration system with one that works.
I applaud the President for calling on Republicans to join us in ending illegal immigration. Most Democrats stand ready to move immigration reform, but we cannot do this alone. We need Republicans who are serious about dealing with this issue to step forward and join Democrats in moving this important legislation. Sadly, we've yet to see even one Republican Senator step forward to meet this challenge.
The time for playing politics with our immigration system is over. The American people, and now the President, have called on Congress to act. We cannot wait any longer: Congress must pass comprehensive immigration reform now.