Obama gave a speech on immigration reform at the University of America in Washington D.C. Within the speech the president outlined broken policies such as legal immigration bureaucracy, immigration enforcement, and amnesty of the current illegal population. The president was careful to cater to both sides of immigration arguments as he stated that the border was more secure than it has ever been while also outlining strategies that targeted the promotion of illegal immigration. He stressed the fact that employer responsibility is crucial in fighting illegal immigration. His concerns were not only that questionable hiring practices promoted illegal immigration, but it also takes advantage of the workers.
Obama supported the amnesty of current immigrants that currently live in the U.S. The DREAM act was mentioned as a potential way to introduce illegal immigrants into citizenship. After unfolding his different approaches to immigration, the president left the ball in the court of opposing Republicans. He stressed that bipartisan support is crucial and that the country was founded on diversity.
For those who would rather read it, a transcript of his speech can be found here.
A Wall Street Journal article was written on the speech, framing the issue as a red vs. blue struggle. Despite Obama’s assertions that the efforts at the border have been tripled, a spokeswoman for McCain was quoted in the article stating that support would not come until the border security was taken care of. Further attention was given to the possibility that the partisan struggle could win Obama future support amongst Hispanic citizens.