Transcript: Obama on immigration reform
Excerpt from White House press briefing held on March 6, 2012 – President Barack Obama on immigration reform:
“…First of all, just substantively, every American should want immigration reform. We’ve got a system that’s broken. We’ve got a system in which you have millions of families here in this country who are living in the shadows, worried about deportation. You’ve got American workers that are being undercut because those undocumented workers can be hired and the minimum wage laws may not be observed, overtime laws may not be observed.
“You’ve got incredibly talented people who want to start businesses in this country or to work in this country, and we should want those folks here in the United States. But right now, the legal immigration system is so tangled up that it becomes very difficult for them to put down roots here.
“So we can be a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. And it is not just a Hispanic issue — this is an issue for everybody. This is an American issue that we need to fix.
“Now, when I came into office I said I am going to push to get this done. We didn’t get it done. And the reason we haven’t gotten it done is because what used to be a bipartisan agreement that we should fix this ended up becoming a partisan issue.
“I give a lot of credit to my predecessor, George Bush, and his political advisors who said this should not be just something the Democrats support; the Republican Party is invested in this as well. That was good advice then; it would be good advice now.
“And my hope is, is that after this election, the Latino community will have sent a strong message that they want a bipartisan effort to pass comprehensive immigration reform that involves making sure we’ve got tough border security — and this administration has done more for border security than just about anybody — that we are making sure that companies aren’t able to take advantage of undocumented workers; that we’ve got strong laws in place; and that we’ve got a path so that all those folks whose kids often are U.S. citizens, who are working with us, living with us and in our communities, and not breaking the law, and trying to do their best to raise their families, that they’ve got a chance to be a fuller part of our community…
“What I will do — look, we’re going to be putting forward, as we’ve done before, a framework, a proposal, legislation that can move it — move the ball forward and actually get this thing done.
“But ultimately, I can’t vote for Republicans. They’re going to have to come to the conclusion that this is good for the country and that this is something that they themselves think is important. And depending on how Congress turns out, we’ll see how many Republican votes we need to get it done.”
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: President Barack Obama’s press conference on March 6, 2012
- WhiteHouse.gov: Video of President Obama’s press conference on March 6, 2012