President Obama called for comprehensive immigration reform
legislation in a speech on Thursday at American University in Washington, D.C.
Obama mapped out several details of his wished-for plan to reform the
"broken and dangerous" U.S. immigration policies. Here's what he said
and how it's being received.
- What Obama Said The
Washington Post's Michael Savage reports,
"President Obama on Thursday acknowledged that a failure by Washington
to address immigration has led to a system that is 'broken and
dangerous,' as he attempted to make the case for comprehensive
immigration reform. Speaking at American University, Obama conceded that
pressure had grown over the issue because of what he said was
Congress's reluctance to act. He backed a plan to give America's 11
million undocumented migrants a pathway to citizenship, together with
measures to further secure the southwestern border. But he said reform
would be impossible while the GOP blocked attempts."
Bush's Plan but Tougher The Guardian's Michael Tomasky explains,
"it's an interesting commentary on the state of the immigration debate
that the new Obama plan is almost exactly the old Bush plan that nearly
became law five years ago, before the volcanic eruptions from winguttia
that gave the name 'amnesty' to a 12-year process (for illegals to
become legals) that required substantial payments of back taxes and
fines.If anything Obama's rhetoric along these lines is a little tougher
- Pressuring Republicans The Wall Street
Journal's Laura Meckler writes, "The only way this can pass,
[Obama] said, is if Republicans sign on. 'That is the political and
mathematical reality,' he said. Mr. Obama singled out his 2008
presidential rival, Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), who co-sponsored
immigration legislation in 2006 and 2007 but has walked away from that
stance in the course of battling a primary-election challenge from the
right. 'Now, under the pressures of partisanship and election-year
politics, many of the 11 [Republicans] who have voted for reform in past
have backed away,' the president said."
- No-Win Position for GOP Politics Daily's Alex Wagner explains, "The issue has been particularly
tricky for Republicans wanting to appear
tough on national security, but likewise in need of Latino support (a
group for whom immigration is a particularly hot-button issue). Support
for tough, controversial measures like [Arizona Governor Jan] Brewer's
candidates among this key voting bloc; the result is that many
Republicans simply refuse to play ball."
- This Was Just About
Assuaging Activists The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder evaluates the speech:
"President Obama's speech today on immigration has a limited shelf life.
It is mainly aimed at the advocacy community and is mostly about signs,
signals, and sympathy. Obama wants immigration reform activists to know
that Republicans are responsible for blocking progress, not him." He
sighs, "Congress won't move on immigration; neither side wants a tough
vote, but both sides seem to relish the base-rousing opportunity that
hooting about immigration always brings."
- More 'Open-Border'
Heresy Conservative blogger Ed Morrissey fumes, "Obama and
his open-borders allies attempt to blur the difference between illegal
and legal immigration. Almost no one of consequence opposes the
latter. Everyone of the 'faith' of Americanism should insist on
enforcing the laws against the former. Unfortunately, this President —
and many of those who have come before him — have proven rather
faithless in this task."
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