By Claudia Ponce
Comprehensive Immigration Reform is “within our grasp.”
“It’s very important for us to remember our history, unless you are one of the first americans, a native american, you came from some place else”. “Most of us used to be them”, said Mr. President Barack Obama in his first speech about Immigration Reform this morning at Del Sol High School, here in Las Vegas, NV.
Among people screaming “Si se puede”, and replying to some: “I love you Mr. President”, Obama gave a clear yes to support and promote a bill to approve an Immigration Reform.
Mr. President announced that he will submit his proposal for a Comprehensive Immigration Reform and that will insist to vote on it right away. Barack Obama focused his speech not only in the principles to guide it but also in a general invitation as a society to understand that this country is made since its beginning by immigrants.
Right after declaring he is totally convinced that a Common-sensed Immigration Reform is possible, he stated that the Congress needs to act, “we need Congress to act on a comprehensive approach to finally deal with 11 millions of undocumented immigrants” who are in the country right now. He invited everyone to remember that “this is not only a debate about politics,it’s about people, it’s about men & women, young people, who want nothing more than the chance to earn their label into the american history”.
Talking about the announcement that the 8 Senators presented yesterday as a bi-lateral proposal for an Immigration Reform, he said that the principles of it are quite combined with the ones he has been promoting since a couple of years ago during his campaign. Nevertheless, he said, it is encouraging to see that both parties are showing a genuine interest to get this done soon.
He mentioned the importance of making use of combinations that are hard to get as the support of Democrats like: Ted Kennedy and Republicans like: George W. Bush.
In front of hundreds as a public, among students and politicians, including Major Carolyn Goodman and the Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, The President official stated that a Comprehensive Immigration Reform would help the country’s economy and that it was time to take care of the 11 millions of men and women that have helped to build this country “hand by hand, brick by brick”.
He made sure to stand out that there is no way they can allow the reform to sit among analysis and debates and he also stablished 3 main principles to guide it, hoping that this will provide keymarkers to members of the congress who will craft the bill.
1) Strengthen security on the boards, plus creating a National System that allows business to quickly and accurately verify someone’s employment status.
2) Find the way to deal with 11,000 million individuals who are here illegally in the country. They have to earn their way to citizenship. Which means to follow a whole process that includes passing a background check, paying taxes, paying the penalty, and learning English.
3) “break out our legal immigration system into the 21st Century”.
“For example, if you are a citizen, you shouldn’t have to wait years before your family is able to join you in America. For a student, for an entrepreneur that is willing to begin a business, we should help them to do that here. Because if you succeed, you’ll create american business”, professionals won’t have to go to other countries and give business to the competition.
Warning about how emotional an Immigration issue can become, he invited everyone as a society, to remember history and to understand the nature of this country, where, every time a different group of immigrants arrives, they face racism and obstacles.
“Who gets to come here and call our country home?, who gets the privileges of becoming a citizen of the USA?, that’s a big deal”. “Most of US used to be THEM”
He spoke about Mexicans living here from before without coming from nowhere, , irish, germans, Scandinavians, Polish, Russians, Italians, Chinese, Japanese, West Indians, etc, all those folks, before they were us, they were them.
What makes somebody an american is not just blood or birth, but allegiance to our family principles and a faith in the idea that anyone from anywhere can write the next great chapter of our history.
“That’s like a comprehensive Immigration Reform Looks like: Board reinforcement, a pathway to earn citizenship, and improvements in the legal immigration system.
It’s pretty straight forward, the question now is simple: do we have the resolve as a team, as a country, as a government, to finally put decision behind us?, I believe that we do”.
Before saying bye, the President of the United States, closed his speech talking about a mexican student, an immigrant who is now allowed to work in this country and who is an example of so many more immigrants that are here working and studying hard to get themselves a better life.
“We are all those who share the same hopes and the same dreams”
Mr. President Barack Obama is already on his way back to the White House.
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