Discusses Immigration Policy in Plan for Economic Prosperity
January 26, 2011
Washington, D.C. - Last night in his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama called on Republicans and Democrats to work together to "win the future" by taking on challenges that have been decades in the making - challenges like updating our current immigration laws to meet the needs of the country. The President outlined an ambitious agenda focused on innovation, education, and reform designed to expand economic growth and personal opportunity for all Americans. He specifically called on Congress to work with him to reform our laws so that we are able to attract the best and brightest minds from around the world, retain highly educated foreign students by making it easier for them to live and work in the United States, stop wasting the talent of students brought to this country illegally as children, and to end the problem of illegal immigration once and for all.
The following is a statement from Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council:
"President Obama reminded Americans that they are capable of big things and big ideas. By acknowledging the contributions of immigrants - as entrepreneurs, innovators, students and workers - in his vision of a renewed America, the President reiterated that creating a 21st century immigration system is part of the solution for America's full economic recovery and future growth. But the President went a step further, decrying immigration policies that simply don't make sense, such as turning away the best and brightest minds from around the world, sending foreign students back to their countries to compete against us, or denying an education to students who have the potential to fill the jobs of the future.
By placing his discussion of immigration policy squarely within his plans for economic prosperity, the President continues the important work of reframing the immigration debate that he began during a major immigration speech last summer. By coupling his analysis with calls for civil discourse and more bipartisanship, he set the stage for a fresh start on this often divisive issue. We urge the Members of Congress to follow the President's lead and to come together to reform an immigration system that has, for too long, been out of step with what the country needs - innovators, entrepreneurs, skilled workers of all sorts, and dreamers."