POLITICAL, COMMUNITY LEADERS SHARE THEIR THOUGHTS ON OBAMA'S DECREE

What local candidates are saying

2012-06-16T00:00:00Z What local candidates are saying Arizona Daily Star
June 16, 2012 12:00 am

U.S. SENATE

• Jon Kyl (R) - No response.

• John McCain (R) - "Today's announcement by President Obama is a politically motivated power grab that does nothing to further the debate but instead adds additional confusion and uncertainty to our broken immigration system. Further, I find it interesting that after promising to enact comprehensive reform in the first year of his presidency, the president chose to make this announcement in the middle of his heated re-election campaign."

• Wil Cardon (R) - "Pandering to voters by granting amnesty to 1 million illegal immigrants not only rewards people who have broken the rule of law, it raises the competition level for unemployed Arizonans struggling to find work. Instead of election year flip-flops on amnesty, Arizona needs outsiders in Washington like Wil Cardon, leaders who understand that amnesty is wrong and that a secure border is the only answer to our illegal-immigration problem."

• Richard Carmona (D) - "The administration's decision today to stop deporting DREAM Act-eligible students is long overdue. This isn't amnesty. These kids are in our country through no fault of their own, many of which are accomplished students and have volunteered to serve our country in the military or within local communities. I hope today's announcement serves as a building block toward the day when we finally put the politics aside, solve the problem and reform a broken immigration system."

• Jeff Flake (R) - "Jeff Flake believes that the Obama administration needs to focus on securing our border first, before taking up immigration-reform measures. It should support, and Congress should pass, legislation such as the Border Security Enforcement Act that Jeff Flake and Senators Kyl and McCain have introduced."

• Bryan Hackbarth (R) - "This is another attempt to sidestep the rule of law in this country. This president continues to violate our U.S. Constitution and laws of the land. This announcement is all about getting re-elected. As I have stated in my campaign, no to the DREAM Act."

• Clair Van Steenwyk (R) - "My position on this or any benefit to illegals is quite clear: We give no benefits to illegals other than to sustain life. It's time for us to stand against our own appointed and elected officials at all levels against these benefits which just encourage illegals to continue to invade us."

CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 1

• Ann Kirkpatrick (D) - "I support fair and sensible steps like those announced today, so that we are not punishing young people who were brought into this country as children and are now working hard, playing by the rules and building a stronger future. It's the right thing to do - and it's why the DREAM Act has been endorsed by fair-minded people across our nation - from top Pentagon officials to editorial boards to Republicans and Democrats alike."

• Wenona Benally Baldenegro (D) - "The president's announcement brings welcoming relief to thousands of young people who will be allowed to continue living and working in the only country they call home, without fear of deportation. Congress should follow the lead of our president and begin taking the necessary steps to pass the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform."

• Jonathan Paton (R) - "America is a nation of laws, not of men. And yet we have a president who flouts the Constitution and is now openly ruling by edict. We have never needed a strong check-and-balance on the power of the presidency more than now."

• Patrick Gatti (R) - "I believe that this is a good beginning to a very large problem that we have had to deal with for a long time. As we have now seen on television, the response by the kids of the affected age, the overwhelming support for this announcement."

• Doug Wade (R) - "President Obama is ignoring the Constitution and circumventing Congress by unilaterally acting today. His actions will make it harder to find a balanced and responsible long-term solution for dealing with the younger people caught in the illegal-immigration debacle."

CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 2

• Ron Barber (D) - "In the face of Washington gridlock, I support the decision to allow those young people who serve in the military or have been educated and have no criminal record to get work permits - a bipartisan step that was called for by Sen. Richard Lugar, a Republican. Let me be clear: This plan is not amnesty and I do not support amnesty. I also support the DREAM Act. Young people who came to this country as children through no fault of their own should be allowed to earn citizenship by serving our nation in our armed forces or going to college. Those who put their lives on the line protecting our country have earned a path to citizenship."

• Matt Heinz (D) - "I support the Obama administration's decision to limit deportations and issue work permits for the children of undocumented workers. Through no act of their own, these young people were brought to the U.S. and shouldn't be penalized for that. By legalizing their presence, they can now contribute to the prosperity of our nation without fear of deportation."

• Mark Koskiniemi (R) - "While the president made claims that he was attempting to provide certainty to individuals and business, he only made the whole immigration/deportation matter more confused with this temporary and unnecessary selective enforcement action. They are short on details on how it will be implemented and how it will interact with other laws. ... I fail to see how this action provides any relief for our own citizens struggling to find work. I would work to ensure that our (federal agencies that deal with border issues) have clear and unambiguous laws to enforce."

• Martha McSally (R) - "Leading is not bypassing Congress; leading is working with the people's elected representatives to develop long-term solutions to our problems. The first things we have to address are our unsecured border and painfully complex legal-immigration system."

CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 3

• Gabriela Saucedo Mercer (R) - "I don't object to the principles involved but I do object to the methodology being used by the Obama administration to implement their plan by circumventing the U.S. Congress."

• Jaime Vasquez (R) - "I am so repulsed by it. To me it's a personal insult to all Americans, and specifically Hispanics. We can't even find jobs for our own people here, and he's exacerbating the problem for his own gain."

• Raúl Grijlava (D) - "This is a sensible solution that allows us, as a national community, to help hundreds of thousands of young adolescents trapped in legal limbo. This is a wonderful day for them, their families, and the many millions of us who believe in fairness and opportunity. I applaud President Obama's decision to extend the American dream to a new generation of deserving individuals."

• Amanda Aguirre (D) - "This country has already invested in these children's primary and high school education, and these children (who are Americans by any standard, having been brought up, educated and cultured in the U.S.) are already prepared to participate in our much-needed 21st-century workforce. This new policy gives these children a great opportunity to become the educated, working professionals that we so desperately need in our country."

• Manny Arreguin (D) - "The president needs to be applauded on this new policy, for it demonstrates leadership with compassion. As an immigrant from Mexico, I understand the value of an education, hard work and perseverance. I personally know some of our local young men and women who have been living in the shadows due to failed immigration policies. Today, I share in their victory because it celebrates America at its best."

Other community leaders

• Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeau - "With a wave of their hand, Janet Napolitano and President Obama make what was illegal yesterday legal today. They can't pass their DREAM Act, so they change enforcement policy, which undermines the rule of law. The timing is more than suspect and appears to be an election tactic."

• Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada -"I think they're here with no choosing of their own, they were brought here and they really didn't have much of a choice, and in a lot of ways they're victims of this phenomena that we have about illegal immigration."

• Margo Cowan, Pima County public defender - "It's about time that our country stop the unjust deportation of deserving kids, kids that for all intents and purposes are American citizens but for the fact that they don't have the paper, and these are kids that will be leaders of tomorrow."

• Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson - "I was very pleased to hear President Obama's announcement that he would grant deferred action, which is not exactly the DREAM Act but is work authorization and protection from deportation. These are young people who are very gifted, who are very smart and want very much to contribute to the community. I believe this is a first step in allowing young people who came here as children to participate and come out of the shadows."

• Juanita Molina, executive director of Border Action Network - "I think it's difficult for most people to imagine the experience of being undocumented in this country, the fearfulness of going to the store, much less dealing with much larger issues like education, college opportunities, being able to really contribute to our community. . . . Allowing these people to be here affords a whole other opportunity to more fully participate in our community, in our society, and we greatly benefit from these young people's knowledge and experience."

• Juan Manual Calderón Jaimes, Mexican consul in Tucson - "These young people arrived as children - sometimes in the arms of their parents - and they already consider themselves U.S. citizens."

• Maria Eugenia Carrasco, Derechos Humanos - "I know I should be celebrating because it's a little light on a dark tunnel, but the thing is that we need to work with Congress to pass the DREAM Act. This is only a little bit of the dream; we need the whole dream for our young men and women and little kids that are out there."

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Activate

Follow the Arizona Daily Star

Featured businesses

View more...

Deals, offers & events

View more...

Event Calendar

Today's events | Add an event

Most viewed:


Get weekly ads via e-mail