WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., issued the following statement after President Obama announced executive action marking reform measures to the U.S. immigration system:

“I am encouraged by President Obama’s remarks tonight on immigration reform. This is an important first step and more needs to be done. At a time of great crisis in our country, when families are being separated, our nation is losing revenue, and we have an immigration policy that by just about everyone's account is failing to accomplish our common goals, we must implement a comprehensive strategy that secures our border and strengthens our economy. The president's plan will greatly help law enforcement focus on felons and threats to our country, and pull individuals out of the shadows, not to grant them amnesty, but allow them to pay taxes and start on a path towards lawful immigration. Congress must act to fix our broken immigration system and implement a long-term solution — nothing less than America's economic success, national security, and fundamental values are at stake. Senator Menendez and a bipartisan coalition in the Senate have already passed a comprehensive immigration bill, and now it's time for House Republicans to act."

New Jersey's immigrant population has been an integral part of the state's economy for decades. New Jersey has 15,200 foreign born students who contribute $447.6 million to the state economy. According to a report by the Perryman Group, without the contributions of unauthorized immigrants, New Jersey would lose $24.2 billion in economic activity, $10.7 billion in gross state product, and approximately 103,898 jobs.