Phoenix Leaders' Reaction to President Obama's Immigration Reform Speech

Mary Rose Wilcox, a candidate seeking election in Arizona's Seventh Congressional District, says she is "dismayed to hear that President Obama still has no concrete plan to pass comprehensive immigration reform and stop the devastating deportation policy that breaks up families and breaks our hearts."

Her statement comes after President Barack Obama stood in the White House Rose Garden and talked about a "new effort" to tackle immigration reform -- which the Feathered Bastard pointed out, includes speeding up the deportation of children.

Wilcox says Obama's speech fell short, and that, instead, "he needs to take immediate action to stop deportations."

See also: -Obama Wants to Speed Up Deportation of Immigrant Kids, Threatens Executive Action -Tom Horne, Lawbreaking Scum, Uses Plight of Migrant Children to Solicit Donations -Immigrant-Rights Groups Claim "Systemic Abuse" of Unaccompanied Immigrant Children

Wilcox's comments also come on the heels of criticism from Jose Penalosa, a longtime immigration attorney who is also running in CD7. During a candidate forum, the Independent candidate charged that Democrats -- including Wilcox and Ruben Gallego, another contender in the Congressional race -- were just paying lip service to immigration reform.

Watch his 90-second speech during last week's forum.

Gallego says he applauds Obama's "efforts to do what he can by using executive action."

"President Obama is recognizing that we can't wait for immigration reform," he says. "We need to immediately end the policy of deporting law-abiding immigrants and breaking up families, and I hope the President takes the necessary steps to end that hurtful practice."

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton says he hopes the President's decision to use executive action to address immigration issues "will encourage Congress to work out its differences and get the job done."

"Arizona has been waiting for far too long for Congress to take action and pass meaningful immigration reform that lifts our economy and brings so many out of the shadows," he says.

DJ Quinlan, executive director of the Arizona Democratic Party, didn't address apparent efforts to speed up deportations, namely of the children coming across the U.S.-Mexico border.

"A majority of Arizonans and Americans support comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship and Democrats remain committed to passing such a bill in Congress," Quinlan says. "Unfortunately congressional Republicans have been stonewalling the bipartisan comprehensive reform bill since it passed the Senate last year with 68 votes that included Senators McCain and Flake's support. Arizona cannot afford to wait any longer. The time for action on immigration is now, yet House Republicans remain unwilling to do their job and give comprehensive immigration reform an up-or-down vote."

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