President Calls for Comprehensive Immigration Reform!

May 5, 2010

This evening at the Fiesta de Cinco de Mayo at the White House President Obama addressed several hundred Hispanics and pledged to begin work on comprehensive immigration reform this year.

From President Obama's Speech (emphasis added):
So today reminds us that America’s diversity is America’s strength. That’s why I spoke out against the recently passed law in Arizona.
Make no mistake, our immigration system is broken. And after so many years in which Washington has failed to meet its responsibilities, Americans are right to be frustrated, including folks along border states. But the answer isn’t to undermine fundamental principles that define us as a nation. We can’t start singling out people because of who they look like, or how they talk, or how they dress. We can’t turn law-abiding American citizens —- and law-abiding immigrants —- into subjects of suspicion and abuse. We can’t divide the American people that way. That’s not the answer. That’s not who we are as the United States of America.

And that’s why I’ve instructed my administration to closely monitor the new law in Arizona, to examine the civil rights and other implications that it may have. That’s why we have to close the door on this kind of misconceived action by meeting our obligations here in Washington.

So I want to say it again, just in case anybody is confused. The way to fix our broken immigration system is through common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform. That means responsibility from government to secure our borders, something we have done and will continue to do. It means responsibility from businesses that break the law by undermining American workers and exploiting undocumented workers -— they’ve got to be held accountable. It means responsibility from people who are living here illegally. They’ve got to admit that they broke the law, and pay taxes, and pay a penalty, and learn English, and get right before the law -- and then get in line and earn their citizenship.

Comprehensive reform —- that’s how we’re going to solve this problem. And I know there’s been some commentary over the last week since I talked about this difficult issue: Well, is this politically smart to do? Can you get Republican votes? Look, of course, it’s going to be tough. That’s the truth. Anybody who tells you it’s going to be easy or I can wave a magic wand and make it happen hasn’t been paying attention how this town works.
We need bipartisan support. But it can be done. And it needs to be done. So I was pleased to see a strong proposal for comprehensive reform presented in the Senate last week —- and I was pleased that it was based on a bipartisan framework. I want to begin work this year, and I want Democrats and Republicans to work with me -- because we’ve got to stay true to who we are, a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.

Tonight to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, the Phoenix Suns basketball team is donning new jerseys for the playoff game against the San Antonio Spurs. The jerseys now say, "Los Suns." The change was to mark Cinco de Mayo and as a protest to the discriminatory Arizona law.

The New York Times reported:
Robert Sarver, the Suns’ managing partner and a native of Tucson, called the new law flawed and mean-spirited and said it would hurt the state’s economy.

“However intended, the result of passing this law is that our basic principles of equal rights and protection under the law are being called into question,” Sarver said in a statement, “and Arizona’s already struggling economy will suffer even further setbacks at a time when the state can ill-afford them.”

Sarver had the support of the Suns’ players, who, according to The Arizona Republic, voted unanimously to wear the jerseys for Game 2 against the San Antonio Spurs. It was the most overt statement made by a professional sports team since the Arizona law was adopted.

The law makes it a crime to be in the country illegally and permits police officers to ask for proof of legal residency if they reasonably suspect that a person is in the United States illegally. Critics say it will lead to racial profiling.

“It’s hard to imagine in this country that we have to produce papers,” said Steve Kerr, the Suns’ general manager. “It rings up images of Nazi Germany.”
Both the National Basketball Players Association and the Major League Baseball Players Association are calling for the law to be repealed.


Anonymous said...

You can count me in repealling the Arizona law. I want that law scrapped!! In its place let's start just enforcing the Federal Law. Oh, I forgot, it's the same thing.