President and General Counsel, Thomas A. Saenz, Issues Statement

LOS ANGELES, CA -MALDEF President and General Counsel, Thomas A. Saenz, issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s speech on immigration today:

“The goal of achieving federal immigration reform in 2013 that will provide legal protection for the millions of hardworking immigrants who have been raising families and contributing to the development of our economy and our society received a significant boost today. President Obama directly challenged all of us to put aside exclusionary xenophobia and to recognize our common immigrant heritage and our common mission of serving family and country. The President called upon congressional leadership to move swiftly toward enacting reform that would protect peaceful immigrants and provide a pathway to citizenship. By recognizing the negative impact of having so many unprotected workers in our economy and contrasting the positive contributions that immigrants have made and will make with full integration, the President captured the importance of reform to the entire nation.

After this boost of national leadership for immigration reform, MALDEF looks forward to working to ensure swift enactment of legislation that heightens our nation's fidelity to its most important constitutional principles, including a shift to smarter and fairer enforcement, incorporation of broad protections against employment and other economic discrimination, and a future immigration system that is equitable and respectful of civil and human rights.”

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "law firm of the Latino community," MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:

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