President Obama called for common sense immigration reform that protects borders, creates a pathway to citizenship for young immigrants already here, and improves the legal immigration system for those who want to come in the future.
In a speech in Las Vegas, he said now is the time to act to bring the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. out of the shadows.
“Think about it — we define ourselves as a nation of immigrants. That’s who we are — in our bones. The promise we see in those who come here from every corner of the globe, that’s always been one of our greatest strengths. It keeps our workforce young. It keeps our country on the cutting edge. And it’s helped build the greatest economic engine the world has ever known.
After all, immigrants helped start businesses like Google and Yahoo!.
They created entire new industries that, in turn, created new jobs and new prosperity for our citizens.
In recent years, one in four high-tech startups in America were founded by immigrants. One in four new small business owners were immigrants, including right here in Nevada — folks who came here seeking opportunity and now want to share that opportunity with other Americans.”
The President praised the immigration reform framework presented by a bi-partisan group of senators, but said if they don’t propose concrete legislation. He will.
While many employers especially farmers who rely on immigrant labor support the reform and agree that it is overdue, opposition is already growing and border security is expected to be one of the big issues.