Last week President Obama delivered his first major immigration speech, calling for comprehensive reform and GOP support. However, in the days since the speech, conservatives and other immigration opponents have blasted the government for being part of the problem rather than the solution.
Criticism centered mainly on the allegations that the Federal government has failed in the basic prerequisite for a comprehensive overhaul, namely in securing the United States border with Mexico and in enforcing existing immigration laws.
"Our politicians refuse to enforce our laws while millions of Americans are pushed out of jobs every day by the hiring of illegal immigrants willing to work for less pay and lowered working conditions," said Leah Durant, executive director of Progressives for Immigration Reform.
"It’s time for the government to protect its own," she stressed.
Meanwhile, another nonprofit, Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS), has accused the government for using the talk of "reform" as another way to introduce the idea of blanket amnesty.
However, Marilyn DeYoung, chairwoman of the board of CAPS, said this is something that Americans "have resoundingly rejected."
On the other hand, among those who have welcomed the president’s speech were the Democratic National Committee and its Hispanic Caucus, which has praised the government’s proposal to require illegal immigrants to admit they broke the law, learn English and pay taxes in order to be eligible for citizenship.