Reaction to the president's immigration plan

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Immigration Reform Supporters: More Work to Do

"I think the president will come to regret the chapter history writes if he does move forward. Because the plan he's presenting is more than just, as the president himself has acknowledged, an overreach - it's also unfair." - Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

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"The president's decision is not a political victory. It's a victory for families. We know well that this decision is not a permanent solution. It is a first step. If we had it our way, President Obama would be signing a comprehensive immigration bill into law instead of an executive action, but can't sit idly by waiting for Republicans to act while homes are being broken up all across this nation." - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

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"Instead of working together to fix our broken immigration system, the president says he's acting on his own. That's just not how our democracy works. The president has said before that 'he's not king' and he's 'not an emperor,' but he's sure acting like one." - House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

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"It's both perplexing and alarming that President Obama has decided to move forward with executive actions that he once said he didn't have the constitutional power to take. The president's decision to recklessly forge ahead with a plan to unilaterally change our immigration laws ignores the will of the American people and flouts the Constitution." - House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.

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"My concern is this action will make it more difficult to achieve immigration reform in the Congress. I have grave constitutional concerns about separation of powers that even though the president might be doing something that I think is good policy, it establishes a precedent that essentially moves power from the legislature to the presidency that I think is not in the long-term best interest of the country." - Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent.

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"The administration is operating within its authority to advance the moral and economic interests of our country, and while we stand ready to defend this program, we must also be clear that it is only a first step. Unfortunately, more than half of those who currently lack legal protections will remain vulnerable to wage theft, retaliation and other forms of exploitation. In addition, we are concerned by the president's concession to corporate demands for even greater access to temporary visas that will allow the continued suppression of wages in the tech sector." - Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO president.

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"This is the biggest victory for immigrants and their allies in the past 25 years. We rejoice with the millions who can come forward, get a work permit and live without fear. Giving some 5 million immigrants a chance to work legally and live in dignity, combined with the end of the misnamed Secure Communities program, is a significant step towards bringing our dysfunctional immigration system into balance after years of ramped up deportations, out-of-control enforcement and millions of families being ripped apart." - Frank Sharry, founder and executive director of America's Voice, an immigration advocacy organization.

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"Americans are tired of Congress failing to act while families are ripped apart. It's time to move on. We respect the President's legal authority to act on behalf of our community, and we hope these commonsense actions prod Congress to pass comprehensive immigration once and for all. Only Congress can finish the job." - Cristóbal Alex, president of Latino Victory Project.

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"Today's victory is tremendous, but to be real, it is incomplete. Millions of Dreamers have siblings who have U.S. citizenship or green cards so their parents will qualify for this new program - and hundreds of thousands more Dreamers will now be eligible for protection. But too many of our parents, LGBTQ brothers and sisters and friends were left out. United We Dream doesn't agree with that decision and we are determined to fight for their protection. Our community sticks together." - United We Dream Managing Director Cristina Jimenez.

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"Although we still need action from Congress, executive action will help millions of people. It will also boost the economy, keep us secure and keep families together." - Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum.

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"President Obama's unconstitutional plan to reward millions of law-breaking foreign citizens with work permits is especially outrageous at a time of labor surplus and sustained wage depression for American workers and legal immigrants already here." - Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, an immigration control group.

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