In another encouraging piece of news, President Obama spoke again about immigration reform yesterday at the Texas-Mexico border. Calling reform an "economic imperative," the President noted that fixing our immigrations laws will help to eliminate the "massive underground economy" that is undermining our present financial health. President Obama also added that his administration has already taken steps to strengthen our borders and curb illegal immigration, and now it is time to address an overhaul.
Some are obviously skeptical of President Obama's efforts, viewing the increased rhetoric as a convenient way to shore up support from the Hispanic population which, as we discussed in an earlier blog, is growing exponentially. It may be. On the other hand, if President Obama's intentions are genuine, his approach seems sensible. Immigration reform is and perhaps will always be a hotly contested issue. The only way that President Obama will be able to create a bi-partisan base is to address some of the concerns held by Republicans, such as border security and not rewarding those who break our laws. Although the media may distort his speech yesterday as another call for "amnesty," it certainly wasn't. President Obama emphasized that border security has been enhanced and that criminal deportations were up substantially. He also appealed to the economic benefits that immigration reform would possibly foster, pointing out that many of this nation's successful tech companies were founded by immigrants. All of this is true. The hope now is that people are listening, and that President Obama is able to formulate a realistic, concrete plan that moves beyond generalities.