President Obama will speak today in El Paso, Texas about his plans to reform the immigration system. The President is expected to call on Congress to enact legislation to "fix" the broken system while stressing the "important economic impacts" illegal immigrants have on the country as he lays out his version of a blue-print for the nations' illegal immigration problem.
Topics the President is expected to cover according to the White House:
-Developing amnesty a new pathway to citizenship
-Stressing the importance of illegal immigrants when it comes to employment, entrepreneurship, taking advantage of 'the brightest minds" in the world and job creation
-Continuing the presence of the National Guard on the southern border
-Securing the border with resources allocated by Congress
-Fixing a "broken" immigration system
-Raising the dialogue surrounding the immigration issue above "amnesty"
-Emphasizing the role of immigrants as major job creators in the U.S.
What can we really expect?
By what we're hearing, Obama's speech is expected to lay out the DREAM Act wrapped up in a brand new shiny bow branded with a different title. Obama made clear what his goals were for those in the country illegally by forcing a vote on the DREAM Act during the lame duck session, which if passed would have granted children of illegal immigrants citizenship if they went to college or joined the military. Meanwhile, although it didn't pass in the previous session of Congress, Harry Reid conveniently made it possible for the DREAM Act to be brought up again for a vote during the current session and Obama has expressed his disappointment in the failure of the legislation the first time around, saying he won't give up to eventually get it passed. However, with budget battles and the debt ceiling debate looming just before the 2012 campaign season begins, bringing up immigration reform with less than two years left in his first term, seems solely like a political move by Obama to show Hispanic supporters he is at least trying to push the issue.
Things to watch for:
-During Obama's speech, listeners will most likely hear "immigrant," while Obama fails to distinguish the difference between legal and illegal immigrants living in the United States.
-A complete reform of the immigration system rather than enforcement within the system already in place
-Complete reform of the pathway to citizenship, or amnesty. The U.S. already has a pathway to becoming a citizen legally, some just find it's easier to walk across the border than go through the process.
-As Obama talks about "immigrants" being job creators and good for unemployment numbers, the average illegal immigrant has less than a high school education and a low skill level. Unemployment in the United States is currently 8.4 percent and unemployment among U.S. citizens with only a high school diploma is above 15 percent.
Will today's speech be anything like this one Obama made at a fundraiser recently for his 2012 election campaign?
"No matter whether your ancestors landed here on Ellis Island or came here on slave ships or came across the Rio Grande we are all connected."