President’s Executive Action a Result of Congressional Inaction to Fix Broken Immigration System

Executive action a temporary fix to parts of system, but Congress must pass a long-term and comprehensive bill

WASHINGTON, DC -- Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet released the following statement on the President's decision to use his executive authority to fix portions of our broken immigration system:

"It has been more than 500 days since the Senate passed a bipartisan bill to fix our broken immigration system with overwhelming support. Unfortunately, the House of Representatives has not acted on the Senate bill or any other alternative of its own. In an effort to fix the system where he can, the President is using is executive authority to help millions of families in Colorado and throughout the country stay together and provide a boost to the economy.

"These changes are wonderful news for many families and employers in our state and will alleviate an extraordinary amount of anxiety and fear they face every day. Yet they are temporary measures and do not replace the need for Congress to act. A bill from Congress would offer a more complete and long-term fix to our immigration system that helps even more Colorado families that are at risk of separation, supports our state's agriculture, tourism, and high-tech industries, updates our antiquated visa system, and upgrades our interior and border security.

"This executive action is in line with actions taken by many other presidents, including Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Dwight Eisenhower. While there will be critics of the President's use of his lawful authority, the best path forward is for Congress to pass a bill.

"During this year, next year, or in the future, I stand ready and willing to work with any Republican, Democrat, or Independent to produce a bill that will fix our immigration system. We simply cannot let this languish any longer."

Bennet is a member of the bipartisan "Group of 8" that introduced the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 last April following several months of discussions and negotiations with a diverse group of stakeholders. The bill secures our borders, includes a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants, makes reforms to an outdated visa system to ensure businesses have access to the workers they need, and includes important worker protections. The Senate passed the bill last June.

Bennet's work on the bill was informed by a statewide conversation on immigration he led that produced a set of principles called the Colorado Compact. Hundreds of statewide leaders spanning the political, business, law enforcement, agricultural, civic, and religious spectrums signed the Compact.

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