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An essay on president barack obama and the broken immigration system of america

  1. They support their families. Another reason Obama may not have offered a totally damning condemnation of Trump's immigration policy is that his administration had its own checkered policy approach on the subject.
  2. Millions of us, myself included, go back generations in this country, with ancestors who put in the painstaking work to become citizens. When I took office, I committed to fixing this broken immigration system.
  3. As my predecessor, President Bush, once put it. But the Obama administration did use the detention of families in an effort to deter other undocumented migrants from crossing the border in 2014 and 2015, when there was a surge of such crossings, a move that was derided by many at the time.
  4. They worship at our churches. As NBC News outlines , the separations were never enacted as policy and in the instances where it did occur, it was remedied quickly.

For more than 200 years, our tradition of welcoming immigrants from around the world has given us a tremendous advantage over other nations. It has shaped our character as a people with limitless possibilities —- people not trapped by our past, but able to remake ourselves as we choose.

  • But today, our immigration system is broken -- and everybody knows it;
  • Over the past few years, I have seen the determination of immigrant fathers who worked two or three jobs without taking a dime from the government, and at risk any moment of losing it all, just to build a better life for their kids.

But today, our immigration system is broken -- and everybody knows it. Business owners who offer their workers good wages and benefits see the competition exploit undocumented immigrants by paying them far less.

All of us take offense to anyone who reaps the rewards of living in America without taking on the responsibilities of living in America. And undocumented immigrants who desperately want to embrace those responsibilities see little option but to remain in the shadows, or risk their families being torn apart.

  • The Obama administration also faced harsh criticism from immigration rights activists and officials for its high number of deportations — the most of any president so far;
  • Overall, the number of people trying to cross our border illegally is at its lowest level since the 1970s;
  • As my predecessor, President Bush, once put it;
  • Tonight, I am announcing those actions.

When I took office, I committed to fixing this broken immigration system. And I began by doing what I could to secure our borders. Today, we have more agents and technology deployed to secure our southern border than at any time in our history. And over the past six years, illegal border crossings have been cut by more than half. Overall, the number of people trying to cross our border illegally is at its lowest level since the 1970s.

Those are the facts. Meanwhile, I worked with Congress on a comprehensive fix, and last year, 68 Democrats, Republicans, and independents came together to pass a bipartisan bill in the Senate. It was a compromise. But it reflected common sense. It would have doubled the number of border patrol agents while giving undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship if they paid a fine, started paying their taxes, and went to the back of the line.

And independent experts said that it would help grow our economy and shrink our deficits. Had the House of Representatives allowed that kind of bill a simple yes-or-no vote, it would have passed with support from both parties, and today it would be the law. But for a year and a half now, Republican leaders in the House have refused to allow that simple vote.

Now, I continue to believe that the best way to solve this problem is by working together to pass that kind of common sense law. But until that happens, there are actions I have the legal authority to take as President —- the same kinds of actions taken by Democratic and Republican presidents before me -— that will help make our immigration system more fair and more just. Tonight, I am announcing those actions. I want to say more about this third issue, because it generates the most passion and controversy.

Undocumented workers broke our immigration laws, and I believe that they must be held accountable -— especially those who may be dangerous. But even as we focus on deporting criminals, the fact is, millions of immigrants in every state, of every race and nationality still live here illegally.

After all, most of these immigrants have been here a long time.

They work hard, often in tough, low-paying jobs. They support their families.

Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation on Immigration

They worship at our churches. Many of their kids are American-born or spent most of their lives here, and their hopes, dreams, and patriotism are just like ours. As my predecessor, President Bush, once put it: We expect people who live in this country to play by the rules. We expect that those who cut the line will not be unfairly rewarded. You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. This deal does not apply to anyone who has come to this country recently.

It does not apply to anyone who might come to America illegally in the future. It does not grant citizenship, or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive -— only Congress can do that.

I know some of the critics of this action call it amnesty. Amnesty is the immigration system we have today -— millions of people who live here without paying their taxes or playing by the rules while politicians use the issue to scare people and whip up votes at election time.

Mass amnesty would be unfair. Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character. If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. And to those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: I want to work with both parties to pass a more permanent legislative solution.

And the day I sign that bill into law, the actions I take will no longer be necessary. Americans are tired of gridlock. What our country needs from us right now is a common purpose —- a higher purpose.

But I understand the disagreements held by many of you at home. Millions of us, myself included, go back generations in this country, with ancestors who put in the painstaking work to become citizens.

I hear these concerns.

Our history and the facts show that immigrants are a net plus for our economy and our society. Because for all the back and forth of Washington, we have to remember that this debate is about something bigger. Are we a nation that tolerates the hypocrisy of a system where workers who pick our fruit and make our beds never have a chance to get right with the law?

Or are we a nation that gives them a chance to make amends, take responsibility, and give their kids a better future? Or are we a nation that values families, and works together to keep them together?

  1. When I took office, I committed to fixing this broken immigration system. While it's traditionally unusual for a former president to weigh in on the current administration's policies and actions, these are unusual times.
  2. It does not apply to anyone who might come to America illegally in the future. Because for all the back and forth of Washington, we have to remember that this debate is about something bigger.
  3. This deal does not apply to anyone who has come to this country recently.

Or are we a nation that encourages them to stay and create jobs here, create businesses here, create industries right here in America? We need more than politics as usual when it comes to immigration. We need reasoned, thoughtful, compassionate debate that focuses on our hopes, not our fears.

I know the politics of this issue are tough. But let me tell you why I have come to feel so strongly about it.

Over the past few years, I have seen the determination of immigrant fathers who worked two or three jobs without taking a dime from the government, and at risk any moment of losing it all, just to build a better life for their kids. These people —- our neighbors, our classmates, our friends —- they did not come here in search of a free ride or an easy life. Astrid was brought to America when she was four years old. Her only possessions were a cross, her doll, and the frilly dress she had on.

She caught up to other kids by reading newspapers and watching PBS, and she became a good student.

Her father worked in landscaping. It was around that time she decided to begin advocating for herself and others like her, and today, Astrid Silva is a college student working on her third degree.

Are we a nation that kicks out a striving, hopeful immigrant like Astrid, or are we a nation that finds a way to welcome her in? Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger —- we were strangers once, too. My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants.

We were strangers once, too. And whether our forebears were strangers who crossed the Atlantic, or the Pacific, or the Rio Grande, we are here only because this country welcomed them in, and taught them that to be an American is about something more than what we look like, or what our last names are, or how we worship. What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal -— that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will. And God bless this country we love.