Thursday, May 20, 2010

President Obama on Immigration Reform: "I don't expect to get every Republican vote, but I need some help in order to get it done"

Ahead of last night's State Dinner, President Obama and President Calderón of Mexico spoke about some of the two countries' common interests, including fixing the broken immigration system, creating jobs, and increasing competition in the global economy.
The President made it clear that he is working to pass comprehensive immigration reform, but to do so, he’ll need support from both Republicans and Democrats in Congress:
“To fix our broken immigration system, I reaffirmed my deep commitment to working with Congress in a bipartisan way to pass comprehensive immigration reform. …We’ve been working hard to get this done.  There’s a strong proposal in the Senate, based on a bipartisan framework, and it can and should move forward.
Here’s the challenge that we have politically.  The political challenge is, is that I have confidence that I can get the majority of Democrats, both in the House and the Senate, to support a piece of legislation of the sort that I just described. But I don’t have 60 votes in the Senate.  I’ve got to have some support from Republicans.  When we made an effort of this sort a few years ago, it was under the leadership of John McCain and Ted Kennedy.  And because there was a bipartisan effort, we were actually able to generate a majority of votes in the Senate.  And we just missed being able to get it done in the House.
If we can re-create that atmosphere -- I don't expect to get every Republican vote, but I need some help in order to get it done.  And there have been people who have expressed an interest. But if they're willing to come forward and get a working group and get this moving, I’m actually confident that we can get it done."
President Obama also spoke about Arizona’s new immigration law, calling it a "misdirected expression of frustration over our broken immigration system":
“I want every American to know my administration has devoted unprecedented resources in personnel and technology to securing our border.  Illegal immigration is down, not up, and we will continue to do what’s necessary to secure our shared border.
And I want everyone, American and Mexican, to know my administration is taking a very close look at the Arizona law.  We’re examining any implications, especially for civil rights.  Because in the United States of America, no law-abiding person -- be they an American citizen, a legal immigrant, or a visitor or tourist from Mexico -- should ever be subject to suspicion simply because of what they look like.”
Search Obama'12 Articles ▼

OBAMA and Economy