Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra (CA-34), joined by fellow House Democratic leaders, delivered the remarks below at a press conference, calling on House Republicans to address our broken immigration system. His remarks came on the heels of President Obama announcing he would appeal the Fifth Circuit Court’s decision to delay DAPA and expanded DACA, and ahead of the one-year anniversary of the President’s executive action on immigration. For video of the Chairman’s remarks, click here and for video of the full press conference, click here.
“In a time of tumult, it is important for us to convey to all the people in France our solidarity with them. We extend our prayers and thoughts to the families and the victims from this past weekend’s terrorist attack in Paris, France.
“Like France, we cherish our democracy and we do everything that we can to make this the land of the free and a place where people will find a home. Because we are a nation of immigrants, we make it very clear that if you come to work and build this country, you have a home. In line with our history and our principle being a nation of immigrants, we see that our immigration system is broken in so many ways and it is time to fix it.
“Our House Republican colleagues have called for a fresh start and have a new Speaker, Paul Ryan. Yet rather than give us a chance at a fresh start on something like immigration, which is operating under a broken system, unfortunately we have word that we are not going to do anything in the House.
“That, of course, ignores the fact that immigration reform would not only be good for our national security, but also for our economy and certainly for all of our families who are here in the United States. We know there would be more job growth if we fixed our broken immigration system. We know that we would decrease our federal deficit by having a system of immigration that works. We know that we would strengthen programs like Social Security if we had an immigration system that worked.
“Along the lines of being a nation of immigrants, we must underscore that we respect and understand the need to be accepting of refugees into our country. People who, by definition, are refugees must show that they fear death or persecution in order to have an opportunity to come into this country. 750,000 refugees have been resettled in America since 9/11. Not one has been arrested on domestic terrorism charges in the United States of America.
“We are a nation of immigrants, we are a nation of laws, but we understand that to make our nation continue to work for all, we must reform our immigration system which is severely broken.”