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May 26, 2022

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Nevada leaders weigh in on Obama’s immigration plan

President Barack Obama made history tonight when he announced a plan for immigration reform that will defer deportations for up to 5 million undocumented immigrants.

His executive action drew cheers from Democrats who praised the president for taking action that Congress was unable to accomplish. But Republicans were just as quick to push back, criticizing the president's actions as executive overreach.

Here's a look at what Nevada's elected officials had to say on the announcement:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

“Today’s immigration announcement is great news for families in Nevada and across the country. Millions of families in our nation and thousands in Nevada will no longer have to live in fear of losing a loved one to deportation.

The president’s executive action will not only keep families together, it will enforce our immigration laws in a way that protects our national security and public safety. It will strengthen our economy by creating new jobs and allowing these families to fully contribute to the only country they call home.

The American people have waited for us to fix our country’s broken immigration system. The Senate passed a strong bipartisan comprehensive immigration bill over a year ago that would have permanently fixed our broken immigration system.

Sadly, House Republicans have demonstrated that they are more interested in playing partisan politics than doing what is right for our country.

They ask for more time but we have given them plenty of time, 511 days to be exact. The House let millions of families languish while passing measures to revoke Deferred Action and deport DREAMers, leaving the president no option but to take matters into his own hands.

The president’s executive action is a good first step; however, it is only a temporary solution. President Obama is doing what he can within his well-established constitutional authority, but nothing replaces Congress acting on comprehensive immigration reform.

So today, while I thank President Obama for his decisive action, I ask my Republican colleagues to put their partisan politics aside and focus their efforts on passing legislation that will permanently fix our broken immigration system. I will continue to fight until we make immigration reform a reality.”

Gov. Brian Sandoval, Republican

"Our immigration system is broken and it is without question that comprehensive reform is necessary. However, any solution to the greater problem must be a legislative solution, not a unilateral decision made by the executive branch.

This announcement gives false hope to the millions of people across the America who will continue to wait for a permanent solution. It represents dreams delayed by patchwork progress and expediency over good government. I encourage Congressional Leadership and President Obama to rise to the occasion of this challenge and work toward passing a bipartisan solution."

Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev.

“For far too long House Republicans have failed to take action to fix our broken immigration system, denying 11 million undocumented immigrants, including 210,000 people in Nevada, the opportunity to come out of the shadows and pursue their American dream.

I applaud the president for using his authority to improve our immigration system in the absence of legislation. The actions announced today will relieve families from the constant threat of separation by deportation and allow undocumented men and women to legally join the workforce.

While this executive action will help to protect families, strengthen communities, and boost the economy, it is not a permanent solution to our immigration crisis. There is still much work to be done to bring the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in our country out of the shadows and on the path to citizenship.

That’s why now, more than ever, House Republican leadership must put politics aside, listen to the American people, and immediately offer a vote on the long-term, comprehensive reform that our country needs.

It has been more than 500 days since the Senate passed sensible bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform. With only eight days left before the House adjourns for the year, Republican leadership should immediately bring this legislation to the floor for a vote.”

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev.

“The Senate passed comprehensive, bipartisan legislation providing a long-term solution back in 2013, and I supported it and continue to do so.

What I don’t agree with is the use of the executive order nor do I agree with the administration bypassing Congress.

In utilizing an executive order, the president is being short-sighted and is merely offering a Band-Aid for a much larger issue.

This is not leadership. We need true comprehensive reform to fix our nation’s broken immigration system.

The Senate already came up with a viable proposal. Now is the time for the president to work with Speaker Boehner to offer a realistic plan.”

Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev.

"It's disappointing that the president has chosen Las Vegas as his venue to ignore both the American people and the legislative authority of Congress.

It is increasingly disappointing when you consider that the president himself has repeatedly stated he does not have the authority to do what he is announcing today.

I am deeply concerned about the precedent this executive action sets for future presidents.

This executive order will make enforcing current immigration law more difficult and act as an added incentive for individuals to come here illegally.

Our immigration system is broken but as I have said all along, immigration reform should be debated and voted on by the elected representatives of the American people.

I look forward to that debate with my colleagues in the House and stand ready and willing to work with our local leaders on immigration reform if they can put politics aside and focus on policy."

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