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Pro-immigration group praises Obama speech, with reservations

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, at 11:32 a.m.

A leading Kansas pro-immigration group is lauding President Obama for putting the issue front and center in his State of the Union speech Tuesday night, but expressing reservations about some of the details of his plan.

“We applaud the President for creating a sense of urgency around fixing the broken immigration system,” said the response to the president’s speech by Wichita-based Sunflower Community Action.

But the group objected to the president linking a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants to tighter security on the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Both issues are important to the strength of our country and to make one contingent upon the other is a disservice to both,” said the statement issued on behalf of Sunflower by its executive director, Sulma Arias.

Sunflower also criticized the president’s stated intention to make current illegal immigrants who apply for permanent residency go “to the back of the line” behind people who have stayed in their home country while trying to enter the United States through the legal process.

“Going back to the end of the line is not a solution, because it assumes that ‘the line’ is an equitable and a fair process,” Arias said. “Hundreds of thousands of people have been waiting for 12 years or more to become citizens.

“The broken immigration system promotes breaking the law because there is no way to play by the rules. We call on Congress and the president to create a process that is fair, clear and efficient and focuses on keeping families together.”

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