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ACLU Lens: ACLU Responds to President’s Immigration Announcement

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January 29, 2013

The ACLU welcomed President Obama’s announcement earlier today to prioritize federal immigration reform, and stressed the need for a common-sense system that is fair, just and respects everyone’s civil liberties.

The president’s speech in Las Vegas came shortly after a bi-partisan group of senators – ‘the Gang of Eight’ – put forth its proposal. The ACLU has released a framework for immigration reform, which urges policymakers to ensure a crucial set of priorities is adopted in order to ensure people’s civil rights are protected.

The President’s plan to work with Congress on a roadmap to citizenship is a clear indication that addressing our country’s immigration problems is a top priority of his second term,” said Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the ACLU. “While there are components of the Senate plan that provide millions of aspiring citizens the legal status they deserve to live, work, and raise their families free of fear, others, such as mandating E-Verify and continued wasteful and unnecessary spending on the border, raise serious civil liberties concerns.

The ‘Gang of Eight’ bipartisan collaboration, along with the years of dedicated advocacy from immigrants’ rights groups, that got us to this stage of the immigration discussion is to be applauded,” said Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office, who attended the speech in person. “Over the coming weeks and months, Congress and the administration, with the guidance of the American people, must work together to pass legislation that ensures that the 11 million aspiring citizens who face detention, deportation, and family separation are granted the constitutional legacy and promise of equality for all, and guaranteed due process.

The ACLU has been at the forefront of the immigrants’ rights movement for 25 years. In addition to advocating for a common-sense federal immigration plan, the ACLU has helped block most parts of the Arizona-style anti-immigrant laws, advocates against inhumane and abusive detention and deportation practices and continues to highlight a range of problems such as E-Verify.

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