Responses to Obama speech underscore lines for and against immigration reform

President Obama’s immigration speech stirred up strong emotions on both sides of the political spectrum.

Colorado Third District Democratic Congressman Jared Polis released a response praising the speech. Polis heads the progressive caucus immigration task force in Washington and has consistently supported immigration reform. He strongly opposed Arizona’s SB 1070, which gives local police broader powers to enforce federal immigration laws.

Polis’s response to the speech today is typical of previous speeches he has given against current legislation that he claims treats illegal immigrants as criminals even though their only crime is not possessing residency papers. He said SB 1070 would create a sort of second-class American, something “reminiscent of second class status of Jews in Germany prior to World War II when they had to have their papers with them at all times and were subject to routine inspections at the suspicion of being Jewish,” he told Politico.

Watch Obama’s Speech here.

On the other end, the anti-illegal-immigration group Americans for Legal Immigration (ALIPAC), addressed the speechby praising SB 1070, calling for harsher boarder patrol and criticizing Obama’s use of Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein in the immigrant debate.

It was “patently insulting and a cheap political trick to compare law-abiding legal immigrants with illegal aliens who willingly violate a series of US laws to take what is not theirs and what is not freely given by American citizens.” The group said in a release. ALIPAC also announced the launch of a new website that will allow visitors to track laws similar to SB 1070.

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