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In State of the Union, President Cites Need to Fix Broken Immigration System

January 28, 2010

In his first State of the Union address, President Obama focused on the economy, job creation, financial regulatory reform, and health care reform. He called for an end to hyper-partisanship in Congress and, toward the end of his speech, identified domestic priorities including the need to “continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system.” FCNL continues to work with Congress to advance immigration reform legislation.

The president also spoke more broadly of the need to value diversity. He stated, “Abroad, America’s greatest source of strength has always been our ideals. The same is true at home. We find unity in our incredible diversity, drawing on the promise enshrined in our Constitution, the notion that we’re all created equal, that no matter who you are or what you look like, if you abide by the law, you should be protected by it, if you adhere to our common values, you should be treated no different than anyone else.” We hope that President Obama carries forward this commitment by resisting the temptation to resort to racial profiling in the name of national security.

In one of the last lines of the speech, he said: “I never suggested that change would be easy or that I could do it alone. Democracy in a nation of 300 million people can be noisy and messy and complicated. And when you try to do big things and make big changes, it stirs passions and controversy. That’s just how it is.” As we’ve worked on immigration reform over the past year, we’ve tried to counter impassioned, hateful rhetoric with civil dialogue and quiet witness. We saw that in our Breaking Bread and Barriers potlucks in the fall, and now we’re asking you to join us again this February by organizing prayer vigils in your community.

These prayer vigils, in solidarity with our country’s immigrants, send a clear message to Congress that we remain committed to immigration reform. In order to fix the broken system and restore dignity and rights for all, we need to stand together. Take a look at the Interfaith Immigration Coalition’s prayer vigil organizing guide to start planning yours today.

*Cross-posted on FCNL’s immigration blog, Immigration: It’s Our Community.”

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