Obama Urges Congress To Pass Bipartisan, Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill
July 2, 2010 By Staff
Today in Latin America
Top Story —President Barack Obama gave a speech Thursday in which he pressed the U.S. Congress to pass a bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform.
The White House said the speech, which had been announced Tuesday, was partially prompted by recent events, according to The BBC. The comment most likely alludes to a strict immigration law passed recently by Arizona that the Obama administration has criticized.
Obama lauded the country’s history as a society built by immigrants, saying “this steady stream of hardworking and talented people has made America the engine of the global economy and a beacon of hope around the world.”
But Obama also criticized the disorderliness of the current immigration system, saying “the presence of so many illegal immigrants makes a mockery of all those who are going through the process of immigrating legally.”
Obama’s major suggestions for immigration reform included securing the U.S.-Mexico border, punishing businesses that hire undocumented immigrants and obligating immigrants who entered the country illegally to admit they broke the law, pay a fine, and learn English before applying for citizenship.
He also noted that partisanship had played a role in preventing reform and called upon Republicans and Democrats to work with one another to craft a viable bill.
The speech, which Obama delivered at American University’s School of International Service in Washington, has been posted to the White House’s Web site.
Other Top News: The mayor and a city council member in a city in the Mexican state of Oaxaca were killed during an ambush in the third political assassination in Mexico in the past two weeks.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Javier Aguirre resigned as Mexico’s national team soccer coach, following the country’s second round exit after losing to Argentina.
- The Mexican government replaced a hurricane warning with a tropical storm warning for what was the first Atlantic hurricane of the season, Alex.
- The U.S. House Agriculture Committee voted to reverse the travel ban for U.S. citizens going to Cuba Wednesday, as well as to ease restrictions on the sale of American goods there.
- Elections in Haiti are scheduled to take place on November 28, allowing the country to begin rebuilding political institutions after January’s devastating earthquake.
- Gurrent Attorney-General of Costa Rica Francisco Dall’Anese Ruiz was named the next head of the United Nations-backed commission charged with dismantling illegal armed groups and tackling impunity in Guatemala.
- Work to expand the third set of locks on the Panama Canal began Thursday after a ceremony attended by Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Spanish Deputy Premier Manuel Chaves.
- At least 3,561 people in El Salvador remain evacuated from their homes due to rains associated with Tropical Storm Alex.
- Colombian benchmark stock index rose Wednesday after Moody’s hinted that the rating agency may upgrade Colombia soon.
- According to the Venezuelan state oil company, an oil leak in Venezuela’s Lake Maracaibo is said to be under control.
- Peru’s consumer prices rose last month at their fastest rate since March, helping continue the country’s already rapid economic growth process.
- Bolivian President Evo Morales said that he expects Argentina to win the World Cup and that he will work on helping the Bolivian national team make the 2014 World Cup.
- United Nations General Assembly President Ali Treki met with Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa to discuss global efforts to achieve the social and economic targets known as the Millennium Development Goals.
- New documentary evidence has appeared in Argentina, detailing the fates of nearly 300 people who were disappeared during the country’s last military dictatorship.
- Brazilian opposition candidate for the presidency, José Serra, picked Índio da Costa of the Democrats party to run as his vice president on Thursday.
- Anglo American, Plc, the third largest copper producer in Chile, signed a three-year wage agreement to avert strikes.