Wednesday, June 30, 2010

President's Speech on Immigration Reform

As Bill Hing reported earlier today, President Barack Obama claims to be pushing for immigration reform.  He is set to deliver a speech about immigration policy tomorrow at 10:45 AM on the campus of American University.  Watch it live!  For some pre-speech speculation from Alex Wagner at Politics Daily, click here.

Here is how the White House is touting the speech: 

"The President believes that we must have a practical, common-sense approach that reflects our heritage and our history -- as a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws. Government must be accountable for enforcing the law, businesses that seek unfair advantages over competitors must be accountable for exploiting the system, and those who break the law must be accountable as well. But as always, the President will put it more eloquently than I can, so tune in for the speech streamed live at at 10:45 a.m. EDT. If you miss it, at 1:00 p.m. EDT, you can still join Cecilia Muñoz, one of the President's closest advisors on this issue, who will be taking questions from Americans all over the country in a unique online roundtable."

UPDATE (JULY 1):  Here is a transcript to the speech.  In it, the President seemed to try to build support for immigration reform by appealing to the "better angels of our nature," to quote Lincoln.  He emphasized  the humanity of immigrants as well as the good they have done for the U.S. economy and the nation (through military service).  In terms of policy proposals, there was nothing especially new in the speech, although (1) President Obama did acknowledge his support for earned legalization (for immigrants who register, pay their taxes and a fine, and learn English; and (2) recognized the need to reform the provisions of the U.S. immigration laws dealing with legal immigration.  Reaction to the speech has been decidely bipartisan.  Supporters of immigration reform have tended to voice support (for Jesse Jackson's positive reaction, click here) for the President's speech with others were more critical about "where's the beef?"


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