President Obama vowed to “keep fighting for the DREAM Act,” a bill that sought to create a path for citizenship for children of illegal immigrants in a speech at the Chamizal National Memorial Park in El Paso, Texas this afternoon. With a renewed effort to pass a national immigration law, White House officials and Latino groups have been meeting over the past several weeks on a strategy to increase public support and urge Congress to pass comprehensive immigration legislation after Senate failed to vote on the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act last year.
Making his case, the president maintained that “immigration reform is an economic imperative,” adding that immigrants “have helped make this country stronger.” His plan would offer the possibility of citizenship for illegal immigrants who currently reside in the United States.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano recently told an audience that the Federal government, and not individual states, should be responsible for crafting immigration policy laws.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said last week that given the increased security on the U.S.-Mexican border, the president believes the U.S. now has the chance to address a problem that politicians have long struggled to resolve. Carney also stated that President Obama will remark on the "broken immigration system" and "America's 21st century economic and security needs."
This morning on the Washington Journal, Lillian Rodriguez-Lopez, president of National Hispanic Leadership Agenda discussed the immigration issue and what she thinks the president may talk about in his speech.
On Thursday, the President will deliver remarks at the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast where he will likely elaborate further on his immigration policy and call for more outside pressure to force Congress to draft immigration legislation.