Obama Offers More ‘Hope’ to Hispanic Leaders, Vows to Fight For Immigration Reform
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (The Blaze/AP) – Appealing to Hispanic voters, President Barack Obama on Friday defended his decision to lift the threat of deportation for hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants, saying it gave them an overdue “sense of hope.” He challenged Republicans in Congress to join him finally on a big, broad fix of the U.S. immigration laws.
Also, if you enjoyed the president’s spontaneous Hispanic accent from his now-famous “chicanos” line in which he described which groups he hung out with in college, he brings the accent out again in his speech today and even speaks in Spanish a few times.
Obama tailored his re-election message of economic fairness and opportunity to his audience of Latino officials, addressing the group one day after Republican rival Mitt Romney did the same. Hispanic voters are a vital constituency in states that could swing the election, from Florida to Nevada to Virginia.
The president said the nation needs ideas and policies that build up the middle class and “our current immigration system doesn’t reflect those values.” The system punishes immigrants who play by the rules and drives away entrepreneurs who can get an education in America but cannot stay here legally, he said.
Obama spoke to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials near Orlando, his first speech to a Hispanic group since he decreed that many young illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children would be exempted from deportation and granted work permits valid for two years
“It was the right thing to do,” Obama declared.
Obama slyly never mentioned Romney by name but referenced the GOP Presidential nominee’s speech given to the same group on Thursday, The Washington Times reports.
“He has promised to veto the Dream Act, and we should take him at his word,”Obama said. “Just sayin’.”
The president was reportedly greeted like a “hero” at the reception, drawing several standing ovations which seemingly confirms that Obama’s election-season shift in immigration policy is paying dividends to his reelection campaign.
“Viva Obama!” one man was heard shouting in the ballroom, the Washington Times reports.
Obama ended his speech with the Spanish phrase: “Si se puede,” meaning “Yes we can.” Some may remember the phrase.
Watch part one of Obama’s speech:
Romney has attacked Obama’s new plan to ease deportation rules as little more than a “stopgap measure.” The president sought to seize on that criticism from Romney and Republicans in Congress by putting the onus on them.
“For those who are saying Congress should be the one to fix this, absolutely,” Obama said. “For those who say we should do this in a bipartisan fashion, absolutely. My door’s been open for three-and-a-half years. They know where to find me.”
This is a breaking story and updates will be added.
- ‘Bigoted, Religious [Zealots]‘: High School Senior Allegedly Expelled, Charged With Felonies Over Gay Relationship With ‘Consenting’ Fellow Student 1,037 Comments
- ‘The Daily Show’ Creator Makes Outrageously Offensive Anti-Conservative Joke About Okla. Tornado 462 Comments
- Washington Times Writer: Fox News Scandal Goes ‘Much Deeper,’ W.H. Sitting on Something Top Obama Aides ‘Terrified’ About 436 Comments
- University Will Investigate Christian Professor’s Intelligent Design Class Following Atheist Furor 313 Comments
- See the First Behind-the-Scenes Photos as Beck and Mercury One Survey the Damage in Okla. 252 Comments
- ‘Death! You F**k!’: Bat Mitzvah Chaperone Unleashes Explosive, Profanity-Laced Tirade Against Kids Over Candy-Throwing Incident Read More
- How Can God Let Tragedies Like the Okla. Tornado Exist? Pastors Weigh In 154 Comments
- Is This Video of Pope Francis Performing an Exorcism? Read More
- Boston Cardinal Snubs Irish PM Over Abortion Support Read More
- Incredible: The Moment a Woman’s Dog Emerges from Rubble During TV Interview Right After She Describes Losing Him 226 Comments
- China Sets off What Could Be the World’s Longest Demolition Read More
- Here are the 5 Most Interesting Moments from Tuesday’s Hearing on the IRS Scandal 110 Comments
- Jay Carney Shifts IRS Timeline (Again!) Read More
- Top IRS Official at Center of Political Targeting Scandal Will Plead the Fifth 134 Comments
- Disgraced IRS Interim Chief Now Fully Admits Knowledge of Planted Question (but Did It Reveal a Past Half-Truth?) Read More
- The Incredible Role Facebook Played in the Aftermath of Devastating Okla. Tornado Read More
- Tech Company Demonstrates Remote Disabling of a ‘Smart Gun’ Read More
- Meet the Blind Man Nicknamed ‘Midnight Gunslinger’ Who Has 80% Shot Accuracy Read More
- How a $4.5 Million Network of 181 Sirens Helped Save Lives in Oklahoma Twister Read More
- See the Record-Setting Python a Man Caught With His Bare Hands (and Guess How Much It Weighed) Read More
- Garcetti builds growing lead as LA picks new mayor
- Iran's Ahmadinejad denounces election decision
- 600 police photos of Tucson rampage scene released
- Chinese premier begins 2-day visit to Pakistan
- Anthony Weiner launches bid to become NYC mayor
- Republican divisions may hinder party's momentum
- House panel seeks to curb military sexual assaults
- Amid immigration reform, calls to change asylums