Both Sides Agree on Need for Immigration Reform

President Barack Obama

  • "The system is still broken. And to truly deal with this issue, Congress needs to act. And that moment is now." - June 11, 2013

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)

  • "We've got a bipartisan group [House] that's had very fruitful conversations, and I think we're likely to see soon some of their work. Reforming our immigration system is an important project of this Congress. We've got big problems that have gone on far too long. And it's time for us to address them." -Politico, June 12, 2013

Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) (Member of the "Gang of Eight")

  • In reference to the S.744, "I think it's an excellent starting point. I think 95, 96 percent of the bill is in perfect shape and ready to go. The reason why I've undertaken [comprehensive reform] is because this is a major problem that's hurting our country." This Week with George Stephanopoulos, June 16, 2013

Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) (Member of the "Gang of Eight")

  • "If we don't pass immigration reform, if we don't get it off the table in a reasonable, practical way, it doesn't matter who you run in 2016. We're in a demographic death spiral as a party, and the only way we can get back in good graces with the Hispanic community, in my view, is pass comprehensive immigration reform. If you don't do that, it really doesn't matter who will run, in my view." -Meet the Press, June 16, 2013

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) (Member of the "Gang of Eight")

  • "I believe if we pass this legislation, it won't gain us a single Hispanic vote, but what it will do is put us a playing field where we can compete. Right now we can't compete...." Christian Science Monitor Breakfast, April 25, 2013

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)

  • "As a nation of immigrants, we must remember that we're all descended from people who came here from somewhere else in search of a better life. In generations past, immigration has enriched our nation culturally and economically. We are all heirs to the dreams and hard work of the immigrants who helped build this country – neighborhood by neighborhood. But the broken immigration system we have now is unworthy of a great nation. It's time for Washington to tackle this problem head on. If we miss this opportunity, our illegal immigration problems will only get much worse and we will not realize the full economic potential of America." - Senator Ayotte Press Release, June 9, 2013

Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV)

  • "Our nation needs comprehensive reform, and the immigration reform proposal championed by the "Gang of Eight" just may be our answer." -Las Vegas Review-Journal, May 26, 2013

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) and Rep. Don Young (R-AK)

  • "Inspired by the words of our First Alaskans, and deeply committed to an inclusive state and nation, we join today to express our hope that the bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill being drafted by our colleagues be brought to the floor of our respective bodies for consideration this session…We pledge to consider this legislation, when presented, with open minds and open hearts." -Open Letter, April 5, 2013

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)

  • "We have to offer people a path to earned legalization, we have to invite people to come out of the shadows…Immigration reform will benefit America's economy. National-security reasons, economic-security reasons – for all those reasons, we need to fix our broken immigration system." -National Review, April 24, 2013

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)

  • In an interview on Fox News, Rep. Cantor said there is "a lot of interest" in D.C. in finding a way to craft legislation that would help foster immigration, while "upholding the law." "Weighing these two things, I think that we can come to some agreement." -Politico, March 28, 2013

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL)

  • "And what is indisputable, is that we have an immigration system that is broken; that we have an immigration system that is not working. We don't know who gets here. We have millions of people who we don't know who they are, who are here – whether we like it or not. Those who come legally, we don't know if they leave. It's very unfortunate. I'm going to be focusing on solutions to a very broken system." -Miami Herald April 19, 2013

Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC); Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI); Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY); Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC); Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL); Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC)

  • In reference to Sen. Rand Paul's speech: "We write to offer you our support, encouragement and assistance as we work together to identify the principles that must guide our nation's thinking on immigration reform. You noted Tuesday in your remarks to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce that "somewhere along the line, Republicans have failed to understand and articulate that immigrants are an asset to America, not a liability," and that the Republican Party must embrace more legal immigration. We wholeheartedly agree -- and stand alongside you in your efforts. We believe you put it best when you said, "Immigration reform will not occur until Conservative Republicans... become part of the solution." -Letter to Sen. Rand Paul, March 21, 2013

Gov. Jeb Bush (Former Republican Governor of Florida)

  • Making an economic argument for immigration reform. "I personally think we need to do this for policy reasons. Republicans need to be for this because it's good policy. Democrats need to be for this because it's good policy…The reason isn't for good politics but for good policy." -Bipartisan Policy Center, June 13, 2013

Karl Rove

  • Immigration reform is now a gateway issue: Many Hispanics won't be open to Republicans until it is resolved, which could take the rest of the year. But there is little doubt next week's Senate deliberations will shape for some time to come the Hispanic community's perceptions of the GOP. –Karl Rove blog, June 6, 2013

Gov. Haley Barbour (Former Republican Governor of MS; Former Chairman of Republican National Committee)

  • "I think immigration reform is really important if we're going to have economic growth," Barbour said. "We're in a global battle for capitol of labor, we need to win that battle, but our immigration reform is making it harder." –The Blaze, May 25, 2013

Grover Norquist (President of Americans for Tax Reform)

  • "There is strong bipartisan support for this legislation in the Senate because it is a commonsense solution to a serious problem. That's not to say the bill does not have its critics -- it does, but this issue is far too important for sound bites and oversimplifications to dominate the debate. An all or nothing approach will do nothing but consign us to continued anemic growth, a furtherance of a shadow economy that benefits lawbreakers at the expense of those who play by the rules, porous borders, and a loss of innovation and entrepreneurial initiative. I'm joining millions of Americans in calling on our leaders to do the right thing on immigration reform." Op-ed in the Huffington Post, May 22, 2013

National Federation of Republican Women

  • The National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW) is urging the federal government to expeditiously reform our nation's immigration system and to pass legislation and appropriate funds that will secure U.S. borders, create a viable guest worker program, and provide a path to legal residency or citizenship for those brought to this country illegally as minors. NFRW Press Release March 12, 2013

Steve Duprey, John Stabile, Wayne Semprini, Fergus Cullen and Wayne MacDonald (All Former Chairmen of the New Hampshire Republican Party)

  • "As former chairs of the New Hampshire Republican Party, we support the modernization effort led by conservative leaders, including U.S. Sens. John McCain and Marco Rubio, and think the plan deserves backing from other Republicans, too. Ronald Reagan noticed that kids growing up in Dixon, Ill., or Danville, N.H., don't dream of a better life overseas. He understood that immigration is proof of American exceptionalism, that which makes America different from and better than so many other countries. Supporting immigration reform is good policy. For Republicans, it's also good politics." -New Hampshire Sentinel Source, June 15, 2013

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 13061743.