2008 Presidential Candidates on Immigration
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In a speech to the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic rights organization, U.S. Presidential Candidate Barack Obama discussed immigration and his belief that the current system isn’t working. Among his remarks Obama stated "... when companies hire undocumented immigrants instead of legal citizens to avoid paying overtime or to avoid a union; when communities are terrorized by (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency) raids -- when nursing mothers are torn from their babies, when children come home from school to find their parents missing, when people are detained without access to legal counsel.” In response to Senator Obama’s remarks, U.S. Attorney Joe Russoniello stated, "Criticizing law enforcement officers for carrying out their sworn duty is unfair." Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesman Tim Counts also commented: "Our procedures for addressing humanitarian issues, including child-care situations, go far beyond what any other law enforcement agency has in place. We routinely conditionally release parents so that they can care for their children. We have great compassion for the children involved. Quite simply, however, parenthood does not make you immune from having to comply with the nation's laws, and the responsibility for any family disruption lies squarely with the violator.” Presidential John McCain also addressed the National Council of La Raza. Among his comments about immigration, he stated, “At a moment of great difficulty in my campaign, when my critics said it would be political suicide for me to do so, I helped author with Senator Kennedy comprehensive immigration reform."