Sen. Juan M. Pichardo (D-Dist. 2, Providence) on Monday joined other leaders here in Rhode Island in speaking in support of President Obama’s executive order on immigration. The press conference was held in light of the recent action by a federal court judge in Texas that will delay its implementation.
“I am encouraged because we have the constitution on our side,” said Deputy Majority Leader Pichardo. “We have precedence on our side. And growing public opinion is even on our side.”
The Senator was encouraged that the courts will ultimately overturn this judge’s actions, and added, “There will be those who will stand in opposition to those who are here in search of a better life, just as their forefathers had done during a time when immigration laws were virtually nonexistent, depending on what part of the world you were coming from. Our immigration laws are a reflection of our humanity and understanding as a people.”
Senator Pichardo quoted Emma Lazarus’ poem on the Statue of Liberty, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” and said he believes that our policies should be an example of these values, and not of hypocrisy.
“They are working in our factories, picking our vegetables, tending our fields, serving in our restaurants, maintaining our hotels, buying groceries and goods and services here in our state.”
The Senator indicated that while President Obama and Congress work to reform our broken immigration system in Washington, there are simple things that we can do right here in Rhode Island to make lives of immigrant residents easier.
“We can pass legislation, as 11 other states have already done, allowing individuals the ability to drive on our roads with a license. We can also enact a law that would permit their children to pay the same in-state tuition for college that their classmates pay. What we do here in Rhode Islandcan reflect on who we are as a people. And I will be working with my colleagues to make these happen,” said Senator Pichardo.