- Obama downplays IRS scandal, blames Obamacare rollout on ‘outdated’ agencies
- Pregnancies decline overall, up among older women
- Pentagon plans to destroy Syrian chemical arms on ship at sea
- Paris Metro issues ‘politeness manual’ to improve passengers’ behavior
- Justin Bieber, crew detained at Australian airport in drug search
- Lee Rigby trial: Muslim who machete-hacked soldier calls it ‘humane’ kill
- GM ending Chevy sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
- Putin’s diplomats to U.S. busted for living high life off $1.5M bilked from Medicaid
- Happy Meal: Couple goes to McDonald’s, leaves with bag packed with cash
- Boehner: It took me 3 to 4 hours to sign up for Obamacare
Obama targets Republicans for blocking Dream Act
President Obama told an Hispanic audience Wednesday night he will do "everything in my power" to enact the Dream Act, which would prevent the deportation of illegal immigrants studying at American colleges or having served in the military.
The legislation has faced strong opposition for nearly a decade. But in his remarks to the annual Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's gala at the Washington Convention Center, Mr. Obama targeted Republicans in the current Congress for playing politics with the bill.
"Last year, we saw the Dream Act passed in the House, only to be blocked by Senate Republicans," Mr. Obama said. "And now for the first time in a decade, the bill doesn't have a single Republican co-sponsor, not one. Nothing about the language of the legislation changed. The only thing that changed was politics in Washington."
He added, "It's heartbreaking, to see innocent young people denied the right to earn an education, or serve in the military, because of their parents' action, and because of the actions of a few politicians in Washington."
The administration has begun to bypass Congress this year and relax deportation standards. In June, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton said agents should exercise discretion in deciding who should be deported.
"How we enforce those laws is also important," Mr. Obama said. "That's why the Department of Homeland Security is applying common-sense standards for immigration enforcement. And we've made progress so that our enforcement policies prioritize criminals who endanger our communities, not students trying to achieve the American dream."
The Hispanic vote is crucial to Mr. Obama's reelection chances in 2012, and he has been courting the community tirelessly, including a trip to Puerto Rico this summer. The White House is in the midst of month-long participation in various events marking Hispanic Heritage Month.
The president said he longed for the day when House Minority Leader Nancy E. Pelosi, California Democrat, would become Speaker again to support legislation such as the Dream Act.
"I wish I could wave my magic wand," Mr. Obama said. "Until Nancy Pelosi is speaker again… At the end of the day, I can't do this all by myself. We're going to have to get Congress to act. I know Nancy Pelosi's ready to act. It's time to stop playing politics."
He urged the crowd to lobby Congress for "an immigration policy that works."
"In this country there is no 'us' or 'them,' there is only us — one nation, under God, indivisible, and immigrants are part of that American family," Mr. Obama said.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Dave Boyer is a White House correspondent for The Washington Times. A native of Allentown, Pa., Boyer worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 2002 to 2011 and also has covered Congress for the Times. He is a graduate of Penn State University. Boyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Obama downplays IRS scandal, blames Obamacare rollout on 'outdated' agencies
- Biden leaves with no concessions from China, heads next to South Korea
- Biden in Beijing: From diplomat to tourist on taxpayer dime
- Susan Rice slams Russia, China on human rights
- Joe Biden meets Xi Jinping in China to try to defuse tensions on air defense zone
Latest Blog Entries
Why such hatred toward America's freedom of religion?
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality: liberal group
- U.S. drops 2,000 mice on Guam by parachute to kill snakes
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- Activists encourage Obama to circumvent Congress, use more executive authority
- CARSON: Getting to the top by starting at the bottom
- Obama returns to class warfare as poll numbers plunge
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- U.S. debt jumps a record $328 billion tops $17 trillion for first time
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- American teacher shot and killed at Benghazi international school
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
Understanding economic events with a free market explanation
John Wood illustrates a new American politics, and the path to get there.
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
White House pets gone wild!