Chair of the California Latino Caucus, Senator Ricardo Lara Statement on President Barack Obama’s Speech on Immigration Reform

January 29, 2013

SACRAMENTO - Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach) released the statement below following President Barack Obama’s Speech on Immigration Reform this morning:

“I am very excited that there is finally a tangible outline and direction for comprehensive immigration reform and I applaud President Barack Obama’s comments on the importance and need to move quickly. There are eleven million people in this country whose lives could be changed and millions of dreams that could finally be achieved through the adoption and integration of people who have for too long been living in limbo.

One of the biggest downfalls to our broken immigration system is the failure of our state and country to be able to reap the benefits of an educated workforce. These children, whom we are educating now, could be the professionals that strengthen and revitalize our economy tomorrow. In California, the Dream Act has facilitated the educating of this community through access to financial assistance for higher education. However, the crucial element of incorporating these students into our workforce and a pathway to citizenship that will keep these young professionals here for good is still missing.

As a country that is founded by the hard labor and sacrifice of immigrants, today we pay homage to our roots by moving forward and working to fix a system that is simply not working; for our communities, for our businesses and for our future. Our President is right-now is the time to act on common sense immigration reform. I eagerly await the change in our federal immigration policies to reflect the will of our electorate and I stand committed to working with my colleagues in the legislature to facilitate the implementation of this reform in California.”

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Contact: Lizette Mata (916) 651-4499