Can Barack Obama Pump New Life Into Comprehensive Immigration Reform?
Per usual, the president killed it -- the man's got a gift for gab.
Unfortunately, talking about doing things doesn't get things done.
For example: his comments on comprehensive immigration reform.
"Let's also remember that hundreds of thousands of talented, hardworking students in this country face another challenge: The fact that they aren't yet American citizens. Many were brought here as small children, are American through and through, yet they live every day with the threat of deportation. Others came more recently, to study business and science and engineering, but as soon as they get their degree, we send them home to invent new products and create new jobs somewhere else.
That doesn't make sense.
I believe as strongly as ever that we should take on illegal immigration. That's why my Administration has put more boots on the border than ever before. That's why there are fewer illegal crossings than when I took office.
The opponents of action are out of excuses. We should be working on comprehensive immigration reform right now. But if election-year politics keeps Congress from acting on a comprehensive plan, let's at least agree to stop expelling responsible young people who want to staff our labs, start new businesses, and defend this country. Send me a law that gives them the chance to earn their citizenship. I will sign it right away."
Sure, the idea of not booting productive members of society out of the country because their immigration status is less-than-legal sounds like a great idea.
But can Obama really pump new life into the campaign for comprehensive immigration reform?
As he notes, it's an election year. And, in an ironic twist, as he was making the case for CIR, one of its biggest Republican (former) proponents was seated to the right of the president looking on sheepishly.
That GOPer, of course, is Congressman Jeff Flake -- who flaked on his support for comprehensive immigration reform when he decided to run for the Senate seat getting vacated by Senator Jon Kyl.
Read all about it here.
Flake's one of the more moderate Arizona Republicans. Yet, even he knows better than to shoot himself in the foot by supporting comprehensive immigration reform in Arizona in an election year -- regardless of whether it's the right thing to do.
If Flake's willing to cave to far-right-wingers, we have a feeling convincing other GOPers to get the president a reasonable solution to the illegal immigration problem that he can "sign right away" will be a hard sell.
We want to know what you think, though: will Obama's speech pump new life into the fight for comprehensive immigration reform.
Cast your vote below.