Our nation is mired in an immigration crisis that is growing more tragic by the day. Deportation is breaking apart working families and separating children - in some cases American children - from their parents. Let us not forget that thousands of immigrant men, women and children are confined in detention facilities throughout our country.
Congress has had ample opportunity to address immigration reform but over years of inaction, has allowed the issue to deteriorate into a humanitarian disaster. In June of 2013, the Senate passed by an overwhelming margin a bipartisan immigration reform measure that was both comprehensive and humane. Bowing to the far right, House Speaker Boehner refused to allow this bill to be brought to the floor for a vote. It remains a national embarrassment.
This evening, I was pleased to hear that Barack Obama, like every American president since 1956, will take executive action in order to bring much-needed relief to millions of immigrants. Where the House has responded with petty partisan politics, the President is providing the leadership to alleviate the suffering and indignity being endured by undocumented men, women and children living in communities across America.
As the son of immigrants, I salute the President on this historic announcement and I urge the new Congress to end the divisiveness and to unite behind an immigration reform policy that honors our immigrant heritage, keeps our families together and our economy strong, and secures our borders.