Saturday, May 18, 2024

Immigration Reform Topic of President Obama’s Speech in Texas

The US-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas will serve as the backdrop for President Barack Obama’s immigration speech scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

The President had made it his task in the last several weeks to step up the push for immigration reform in order to fix the nation’s broken immigration system.  In the run up to today’s speech, Obama hosted a number of meetings at the White House with top Hispanic lawmakers, politicians from around the country—including San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg—plus business leaders, law enforcement officials and religious leaders.

Conditions for immigration reform in Washington’s current political climate are not ideal with Republicans in control of the House, but in his speech today Obama is expected to put the pressure on Republican lawmakers who have blocked immigration reform legislation in the past.

“We already know from the first two years, the last Congress, that there was political opposition to comprehensive immigration reform, including from some places where there used to be political support,” said presidential spokesman Jay Carney. “We are endeavoring to change that dynamic by rallying public support, by raising public awareness about the need for comprehensive immigration reform.”

In his effort to pitch his immigration argument to a wider audience, Obama will also shift the focus to the economical impact of immigration reform, according to White House officials.

His speech will highlight the substantial economic contributions and job that immigrants create in business start-ups and patent applications, etc.

“The United States has been enriched by a steady stream of hardworking and talented people who have helped make America an engine of the global economy and a beacon of hope around the world,” a White House statement reads.  “As we work to rebuild the economy, our ability to thrive depends, in part, on restoring responsibility and accountability to the immigration system.”

Securing the border first has been a prerequisite for Republicans in taking up immigration reform legislation, but the administration has argued that great strides have been made in this area and the time for passing comprehensive immigration reform is now.

“President Obama believes Democrats and Republicans should come together to tackle an issue that is critical not only to our national security but also to the economy and our global competiveness,” the White House said.  “In his recent meetings, the President has made clear he will continue to lead on this issue, but has asked these leaders to take a public and active role in elevating the immigration debate.”

Huffington Post

White House