by CHRISTINE ABRAHAM Photographer
President Barack Obama announced that he plans to reform the United States immigration policy on Tuesday, January 29 in Las Vegas.
“The reason I came here today is because of a challenge where the differences are dwindling,” Obama said during a speech at Del Sol High School. “Where a broad consensus is emerging, and where a call for action can now be heard coming from all across America. I am here today because the time has come for common sense, comprehensive immigration to reform.”
Obama states three specific parts of the immigration reform – better enforcement of immigration laws, providing a path to citizenship for the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the country, and reforming the legal immigration system. One stipulation in the plan that has people buzzing is the requirement of all immigrants to take a civics exam and learn English.
“11 million people is really alot. I believe that they shouldn’t be allowed to remain in the country if they don’t know English. I just find that ridiculous to come into a country with the population speaking a language you don’t even know,” said sophomore Nicole Moscillo.
There are about 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States, and the U.S. government would like to create new ways for these people to have a citizenship.
“Yes, they broke the rules, they crossed the border illegally, maybe they over stayed their visas, those are facts, nobody disputes them. But these 11 million men and women are now here,” Obama said.
The audience broke out into applause several times during the speech, with Obama adding that Republicans and Democrats are willing to work together to fix the issue.
However, this is not the first time Obama has tried to reform the immigration policy. He formulated a blueprint, but it was never implemented back in 2011.
He described the blueprint as a sign of renewed desire by both Republicans and Democrats to solve the problem, stating the plan was “very much in line with the principles I’ve proposed and campaigned on for the last few years.”
Obama also claims that less immigrants have been coming to our country lately, and the US has also been deporting less and less people.
“We all know that today we have an immigration system that is out of date and badly broken; it’s a system that’s holding us back instead of letting us grow our economy and strengthen our middle class,” he said.
Obama also touted the need for a “startup visa” that would allow immigrants who discovered startups can live in the U.S. if they raise at least a minimum level of financing and employ a certain amount of workers. If their startups continue to grow, President Obama assures them that they will be able to remain permanently in the country.
“Right now there are brilliant students from all around the world sitting in classrooms at our top universities,” Obama said. “They are earning degrees in the fields of the future like engineering and computer science. But once they finish school, once they earn that diploma, there’s a good chance they’ll have to leave our country.”
He also states that deporting them is letting them launch industries in other countries, which makes us lose the new industries to our competitors.
“I personally believe Obama is right. If they really are successful entrepreneurs, let them say if they’ll give Americans more jobs,” said sophomore Jacqueline Hur.
Still, opponents argue that the temporary visas will allow them to steal jobs from Americans, depress wages, and discourage American students from going into fields of high-tech careers. Advocates, however, argue that creating more visas for immigrant entrepreneurs instead of just simply creating more jobs, allows companies to grow in the United States.
What do you think of Obama's plan for immigration reform?
I like it! (60%, 3 Votes)
I don't agree! (20%, 1 Votes)
Some parts are okay... (20%, 1 Votes)
I'll tell you in the comments! (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 5