Obama Action Is About Family Values

December 10, 2014

Gebe Martinez, 703-731-9505, [email protected]

NILC: Obama Action Is About Family Values

WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing today on “Keeping Families Together: The President’s Executive Action on Immigration and the Need to Pass Comprehensive Reform.” National Immigration Law Center Executive Director Marielena Hincapié released the following statement prior to the hearing:

“For years, we have heard politicians speak of defending ‘family values,’ and that is one area that is sorely lacking in today’s immigration system. President Obama, acting within his full legal authority, has taken action to allow parents of citizen children and others to come forward to apply to work legally and pay more taxes. Most importantly, this will give children and their loved ones the security of knowing that the children’s immigrant parents are no longer one traffic stop away from being forcibly deported from their lives.

“Participants must qualify for the president’s program that temporarily defers deportation for three years. It is not ‘amnesty,’ as critics have falsely maintained, and it does not confer permanent residence or citizenship. It does not place these parents or young immigrants ahead of anyone currently experiencing a long wait, because of our dysfunctional immigration system, for their visas to be approved, nor does it rewrite or undo immigration law.

“Let’s get the facts straight and remember the benefits that will come from this program for all workers, U.S.-born and immigrants. Fewer workers will be subjected to abuse by employers who retaliate against them. Instead, they’ll be empowered to improve working conditions for all.

“The Council of Economic Advisors estimates the U.S. GDP will rise by 0.4 percent after 10 years, ‘equivalent to an additional $90 billion in real GDP in 2024,’ under the president’s program, partly because of increased productivity from the American labor force that will grow by nearly 150,000 people over 10 years. The impact on U.S.-born workers is not job losses, but a rise in average wages by 0.3 percent in 2024. Also, federal budget deficits are expected to be cut by $25 billion in 2024 because of the growth in the GDP resulting from this important action on immigration.

“The president’s actions are a good, though temporary and limited, first step. The limitations on this program underscore the need for Congress to enact long-term, comprehensive solutions to the problems we face.

“We will continue to fight for the rights of all workers, no matter where they were born. Meanwhile, those who do qualify for relief should have the same right and responsibility to lead healthy, productive lives as anyone else. As the world celebrates Human Rights Day today, it is very apt that the Senate Judiciary Committee is highlighting the rights and dignity that will be restored for about 5 million immigrants as under President Obama’s action on immigration.”

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