Obama immigration speech more of the same
The US immigration system is broken, that everyone can agree on. US President Barack Obama spoke on the issue today from American University in Washington, DC.
Obama’s speech showed that immigration is still on his radar and you have to give credit to Obama for taking the time to reignite the discussion on immigration, argued Juan Jose Gutierrez, the director of Vamos Unidos USA.
However, while Gutierrez is glad the issue is gaining much needed attention, he was disappointed in what he heard.
“Today he didn’t say how we get from where we are today to, which his essential point zero, there is not yet a package on immigration reform on the Senate side,” said Gutierrez
Gutierrez argued that Obama said nothing new; he merely reiterated the same old promises he made in the past that he has yet to act on. Obama previously promised during his campaign to address immigration reform during his first year as president, he failed to do so.
While some US Senators had been working towards an immigration reform package, there has been little change or movement on the issue.
Gutierrez recognizes that Obama has achieved progress on a number of other important projects, including the Iraq and Afghan wars, healthcare, energy reform, unemployment and the economic crisis.
“We are keenly aware that he’s been dealing with a very very challenging situation; however he did dedicate half an hour to an issue that for all intents and purposes we dead or almost dead and so to his credit this issue is back on the radar, more to the point it’s back on the table. Now the question is how are we going to move forward from here?" said Gutierrez.
Gutierrez is concerned that Obama’s speech was merely a call to arms to those who already support immigration reform, pushing to inject enthusiasm in those seeking reform to pressure congress. He also expressed concern over Obama’s direct blame of Republicans for hindering immigration reform efforts.
Gutierrez however was glad to hear Obama speak favorably of the DREAM Act, which would allow immigrant children to seek citizenship through education and military service.
“We are asking for just humane immigration reform; let’s legalize the millions of hard working men and women that add so much to the wealth and well being of this country. It’s the fair thing to do in a country of immigrants and we are still waiting, but we will not be held back,” said Gutierrez.