Following his address Thursday night explaining his plan to use executive authority to improve parts of the U.S. immigration system, President Obama gave a speech in Las Vegas further detailing why his immigration executive action is just the next step. “Our immigration system has been broken for a very long time, and everybody knows it,” President Obama said at Del Sol High School—where almost two years ago he laid out his principles for immigration reform.
He added that his actions, including providing temporary protection to roughly 5 million people, are not permanent and that it is still up to Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. “I will not give up. I want to keep working with Members of Congress to make reform a reality,” he said. And while Congress works on a long-term solution, executive action clarifies enforcement priorities so that the immigration system focuses on criminals instead of deporting undocumented parents and separating families. “We are a nation that gives them a chance to take responsibility…and create a better future for their kids,” President Obama said.
Before his Las Vegas speech, President Obama signed two presidential memos that go along with the executive actions he has announced. One aims to modernize and streamline the existing visa system, and the second memo establishes the White House Task Force on New Americans, “an interagency effort to identify and support State and local efforts at integration” and creating communities that are welcoming to immigrants.
FILED UNDER: executive action, featured, immigration reform, New Americans