Congressman Pete Gallego (TX-23) released the following statement in response to the State of the Union:
"Tonight, I sat in the chamber of the U.S. House as the President delivered his State of the Union. I was honored to have as my guest- CPT Joshua M. Leone from Fort Bliss- who was injured while serving in Afghanistan. I invited CPT Leone so that his presence would remind me, my fellow members of Congress, and all Americans that we have a duty to the men and women who serve our country.
The President spoke on strengthening and expanding our nation's middle class. Strengthening our middle class means honoring our commitments to our service men and women and our veterans. The military has served as the driving force to the middle class for many families. My father's service in World War II helped him go to college, open a small business, and propel our family to the middle class.
Over the next year 34,000 American troops will return home from Afghanistan. I rejoice with the families who will soon be reunited with their loved ones, and pledge to never stop advocating for them. We must welcome these heroes and ensure that we meet our obligations when they return regardless of any fiscal challenges our country faces.
I'm glad immigration reform was a focal point in tonight's speech. Immigrants have built this country throughout our nation's history. They defend our nation in the armed forces and contribute to our economy. They have long been a part of our communities and should be allowed to earn a process that will help them integrate fully into our society. Many immigrants have risked their lives to provide a better future for their children- a trait that could not be more American.
Reform's the compassionate thing to do for families, the right thing to do for our country, and a necessity for America's economic future. Let's not leave any more lives in limbo, or any more dreams deferred. The time for reform is now."