WASHINGTON, Feb. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The following statement was issued by Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), in response to President Trump's remarks regarding border security and immigration in the State of the Union address:
"Tonight, President Trump made a clear and compelling case to the American people about the need for securing our borders and addressing loopholes in our laws that are driving a growing wave of new illegal immigration.
"The president reiterated that secure border barriers ? a position that until fairly recently enjoyed broad bipartisan support in Congress ? are essential to controlling the border. Such barriers, where they are in place along our southern border and around the world, dramatically reduce illegal immigration and deter people from risking their lives attempting to violate the laws of other nations. In addition, as the president noted, border barriers dramatically improve public safety and combat cross-border crime.
"He also laid out the case, directly to the American people, for why Congress must act immediately to close loopholes in our laws that now invite people to abuse our asylum policies and to use children as get out of jail free cards after arriving in our country illegally. Congress is well aware that our humanitarian policies are being exploited, but Democrats, for narrow political reasons, continue to block commonsense reforms that would protect true asylum seekers and the American people.
"The tone for tonight's State of the Union address was set before the president uttered his first word. With immigration and border security at the top of the national agenda, the two parties packed the House chamber with guests selected to send a clear message about where and with whom they stand. President Trump and many in his party invited Americans whose lives have been irreparably harmed by criminal aliens who exploited our porous borders and dangerous sanctuary policies, and law enforcement officers who protect the nation and victims of human trafficking.
"The selection of guests attending at the invitation of many congressional Democrats also speaks volumes. Driven by an ever more radical fringe of their party, Democrats ignored the harm caused to Americans by failed immigration policies and cast their lot squarely with the people who have violated our laws, or who accepted offers of temporary protection and now refuse to honor their commitments to return home.
"The debate over immigration and border security is not just a partisan one, as the president noted. 'No issue better illustrates the divide between America's working class and America's and political class than illegal immigration. Wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders while living their lives behind walls and gates and guards.' Working Americans whose jobs, communities, schools and other resources are undermined by decades of failed immigration enforcement demand action.
"The immigration crisis laid out by the president tonight is a national emergency: One of our own making. For years it has threatened the security of the American people, their jobs, and their tax dollars. Now it threatens the most basic operation of their government. It should not require a declaration of a national emergency to address this crisis. What is needed is for both parties and the White House to come together to honor their most basic responsibilities to secure our borders and end the abuses of our humanitarian policies, before any other matters are addressed."
Contact: Matthew Tragesser, 202-328-7004
Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country's largest immigration reform group. With over 2 million members and supporters nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.
SOURCE Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)