Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Immigration in the SOTU

Pretty substantial mention of immigration in the State of the Union.

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.

This follows the basic administration strategy for 2012. Make the case (even with militaristic "boots on the border" imagery), fail in Congress, blame Congress, and tinker administratively to show that you're taking some sort of action.

Taking credit for the decrease of illegal crossings is a stretch, given that the poor state of the U.S. economy and demographic change play huge roles.


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