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In State of the Union, Obama is Cautious on Immigration Reform

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Jeff Swensen via Getty Images
Jeff Swensen via Getty Images

This week, President Obama urged Congress in his State of the Union address to fix our broken immigration system once and for all.

And although the President made the call that Congress needed to act, many have been quick to criticize him for only dedicating a short portion of the speech to talk about immigration -- to be specific, 121 words.

Some would think that the President's single paragraph on immigration reform, of his 20 page speech, would signal that reform isn't a priority, but that is far from the truth.

The President's cautious comments on immigration reform are smart. With an immigration bill already passed through the Senate, and the Republican leadership ready to unveil their set of principles they hope to see in a potential bill, the State of the Union address was not the time for the President to overly pressure Republicans to take action.

Instead, the President was clever to address the need of immigration reform from an economic perspective. And he's right; Independent economists have already said that immigration reform will grow our economy and shrink our deficits by almost $1 trillion in the next two decades.

At the end of the day, passing immigration reform will benefit both parties. Not only will it give Republicans an in with Latinos they so desperately need, but it will also reduce the deficit; a topic Republicans consider to be top priority in their party agenda.

And with the Republican Party currently participating in a three-day retreat in Maryland, the President was smart not to make specific demands on the issue. Instead, he's allowing for them to release their awaited principals on what their party hopes to see on an immigration bill, and react after we truly see what's included in their blueprint.

Our community should not stop pressuring the GOP to take action. We, as the American people, have every right to continue making sure our voices are heard loud and clear around this important topic.

Whatever the Republicans decide to unveil, it's important to remind the Republican Party that the Latino community is closely watching. With the current immigration system deeply broken, inaction is not an option. And if the Republican Party dares to take the path of inaction, they can say goodbye to keeping a majority in the House of Representatives and ever making it back to the White House.