Obama: I'm not walking away from immigration reform

WASHINGTON Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:01pm EDT

1 of 3. U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 33rd Annual Awards Gala in Washington, September 15, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Jim Young

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama assured Hispanics on Wednesday he was not walking away from immigration reform while expressing disappointment that he had not delivered on a 2008 promise to overhaul U.S. policy.

Obama, a Democrat who is ramping up his rhetoric against Republicans ahead of November 2 congressional elections, said only cooperation from both parties would allow reforms to advance.

He blamed Republicans for backing away from reform and urged Hispanics -- an important and growing voting bloc -- to continue giving him the support they gave during his presidential campaign.

"Now, I know that many of you campaigned hard for me, and understandably you're frustrated that we have not been able to move this over the finish line yet. I am too," he told a gala dinner for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, referring to immigration reform.

"But let me be clear: I will not walk away from this fight. My commitment is getting this done as soon as we can. We can't keep kicking this challenge down the road."

Immigration reform was one of a list of campaign promises Obama sought to realize after taking over the White House in 2009. But the issue largely fell behind other policy priorities such as healthcare and financial reform.

Obama blamed Republicans for slow progress on the issue and, putting a spin on his "Yes we can" campaign slogan, said the opposition party had adopted a platform of "no se puede" which, translated from Spanish, means roughly "No we can't."

"Is that a bumper sticker you want on your car?" he said.

Republicans, who could win majorities in both houses of Congress in November, stress that the United States has to secure its borders before tackling immigration reform on a broader scale. A Republican-controlled Congress would make it more difficult for Obama to achieve his policy goals.

Obama said disappointed supporters should keep pressuring him and his party to advance reform, but he urged them to stick with Democrats.

"You have every right to keep the heat on me and keep the heat on the Democrats, and I hope that you do," he said.

"But don't forget who is standing with you, and who is standing against you. Don't ever believe that this election coming up doesn't matter. ... Don't forget who your friends are."

(Editing by Todd Eastham)

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Comments (11)
nomoeobam wrote:
to Obama reform means giving a free pass in the form of total amnisty to all illegal aliens in the US. This amnisty will probably include a fast track way for them to become citizens so they can legaly vote for the democratic candidates in upcoming elections.

Sep 15, 2010 10:20pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
94fleetwood wrote:
I also stand with Immigrants, as my great grandparents had struggles and many criticisms as well. Many children today never learned or have not been taught of their own ancestry, thus never knowing the pain and suffering.

Sep 15, 2010 11:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
TheDeuceman wrote:
I don’t get your point of view 94 fleetwood. WHY did you come to this country? To escape the “pain and suffering” of your country’s political and social situation? If so, WHY would you want to TEACH your children this crap all over again? If you came to America for the freedom and opportunity, HOW does it compute that you will be a better person for dragging all of this political baggage in with you.

Remember the REASON for the first American settlers coming to this country, to escape the mental oppression of their overseers, for political freedom of thought and religious freedom. Not for a chance to replicate and or perpetuate the tyranny of their home country it in this country. The very fabric of our founding documents states these reasons in it. They are as valid toady as then.

Figure out WHY you are here. If it is to perpetuate YOUR home countries vices and shortcomings, may I suggest you get a head start in that direction and go BACK there to continue to build on that pile of dung. Otherwise, get legal and get right with the ways of this country…including its founding ideals.

Darrow…for the Prosecution.

Sep 15, 2010 11:43pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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