WASHINGTON –U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) released the following statement in response to President Barack Obama’s address in which he outlined actions to help secure the border, hold nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants accountable, and ensure that everyone plays by the same rules.

I wish it weren't necessary for President Obama to take these executive actions. But meaningful action to fix our broken immigration system – like the Senate’s bipartisan bill – has continuously been blocked by Republican leaders in the House who refuse to address this issue. This crisis has gone on too long, with millions of individuals and families living in the shadows of American society, and the president is right to exercise his legal authority to grant relief to these immigrants. Tearing families apart after decades of de facto legalization would be cruel and counterproductive.

The executive action announced tonight addresses all sides of this crisis. It secures the border, prioritizes the deportation of felons, allows families to stay together, and incentivizes businesses to hire workers legally. These fixes are good for our economy and good for our communities, and they’ll help Connecticut become even stronger. There is no doubt in my mind that President Obama has the authority to take these steps - he is building on precedent created by both Democratic and Republican former presidents.

However, the president's decision is a temporary step that will be superseded when Congress finally decides to act this issue. Hopefully this announcement will be a forcing mechanism to prompt Congress to pass an immigration reform bill that will bring people out of the shadows and grow our economy. Over two and a quarter centuries, immigration has remained a core, defining strength of our nation. The president's announcement this evening pays homage to this reality.