Obama: U.S. always has been a nation of immigrants

President says range of backgrounds and experiences makes country stronger
Associated Press
Jul 5, 2014

Celebrating the ethnic diversity of America, President Barack Obama said more than two dozen foreign-born service members who became U.S. citizens at the White House on the Fourth of July are vivid reminders that welcoming immigrants "is central to our way of life."

He pleaded anew for new immigration policies, saying the vast range of backgrounds and experiences that has made America a melting pot for more than 200 years also makes the country stronger. He argued that the system must be retooled for the U.S. to remain the greatest nation on earth.

"The basic idea of welcoming immigrants to our shores is central to our way of life, it is in our DNA," Obama said after the 25 service members representing 15 countries raised their right hands and pledged allegiance to the United States.

"From all these different strands, we make something new here in America. And that's why, if we want to keep attracting the best and brightest from beyond our borders, we're going to have to fix our immigration system, which is broken," he said. "Pass common-sense immigration reform.

The immigration issue is earning renewed attention because of the influx to the U.S. of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America. Under U.S. law, they must be returned to their home countries, angering immigration advocates who already take issue with Obama's enforcement of deportations. They want Obama to allow the children to stay.

At the same time, Obama blames House Republicans for delaying action on legislation covering the millions already living in the U.S. illegally. A comprehensive measure the Senate passed last summer has been blocked by House leaders who also have done little to advance their own immigration proposals.

Obama announced earlier this week that, as a result of inaction on Capitol Hill, he will pursue non-legislative ways he can adjust U.S. immigration policy on his own. He scheduled a trip to Texas next week, mostly to raise money for Democratic candidates, but plans not to visit the border.

"I'm going to keep doing everything I can to keep making our immigration system smarter and more efficient," Obama said Friday.

Across the country, more than 100 demonstrators, most in support of immigrants, gathered again Friday outside a U.S. Border Patrol station in Murrieta, California, where the agency intends to process some of the immigrants who have flooded the Texas border with Mexico.

Earlier this week a crowd of protesters blocked buses carrying women and children migrants who were flown in from overwhelmed Texas facilities. The Border Patrol had to take the migrants elsewhere.

Later Friday, Obama and his wife, Michelle, welcomed hundreds of service members and their families, including the new citizens, to an all-American barbecue on the South Lawn that was sponsored by the USO, a nonprofit organization that provides services and entertainment to U.S. troops and their families. Held under bright sunny skies after Hurricane Arthur blew north through the region, the event featured food, patriotic music by the U.S. Marine Band and a scheduled concert by the rapper Pitbull, along with prime seating for the fireworks on the National Mall.

Obama said that since the nation's founding 238 years ago the U.S. has become the "greatest democratic, economic and military force the world has ever known" and a beacon for others looking on from beyond its borders.

"Immigrants from around the world dream of coming to our shores," he said. "Young people aspire to study at our universities, other nations look to us for support (and) leadership in times of disaster and conflict and uncertainty.

"And when the world looks to America so often they look to all of you, the men and women of our Armed Forces," Obama said.

The president explained that he had other reasons to celebrate on Friday.

"This is always a special day for us because this is Malia's birthday," he told guests. His oldest child turned 16.

 

Comments

Justwow

Bullcrap Obama. Get them out along with yourself. Go join your Taliban friends.

The Big Dog's back

Ahhhhhh, bush is the one who had the Taliban at his ranch in Texas.

Darwin's choice

Since obama is going to be in Texas this week campaigning and golfing, think he is going to find time to go see first hand the drama at the border? I'll bet not! It would be too inconvient...

obama/failed

JMOP

"The basic idea of welcoming immigrants to our shores is central to our way of life, it is in our DNA," Obama said

-tell that to my Native American ancestors

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

In addition don't forget the thousands who have played by the rules, payed the fees, waited, attended the court proceedings, and classes to take that vow and earn their citizenship. This is a poke in their eye and hardly a white-bred-'murrica vs. everyone else.

If we use the same logic as applied here, since we've done something for so long then shouldn't we also be allowed to own slaves still? Shouldn't we be allowed to war with Canada and Mexico to expand our territory? We've always been a nation of expansion. According to Thomas Jefferson we are long overdue for another revolution. We've always been a country of revolution, so perhaps the President wishes that, too?

As was said before, for being a law professor he sure is glazing over a whole lotta law (he isn't enforcing) under the cover of a lame excuse. Are we a nation of laws or a nation of anecdotally-supported excusable behavior under vague and not-unified senses of what other people feel should happen?

JMOP

I agree. Well said again Hero!

The Big Dog's back

Gee, hz, good to know you are a Constitutional law professor. Oh wait, you run a comic book store. Another right wingnut who thinks they know everything.

Contango

Re: "Another right wingnut who thinks they know everything,"

You mean as opposed to a smoking, fat, lefty looney "who thinks they know everything"?

“I've said you don't have to own a business to know how one works.”

- brutus smith aka puppy, Oct. 2010

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I'm not a Constitutional law professor. I certainly don't know everything. I have never claimed to do so. You seem to be the only one lauding me as having such mental superiority. It's because I DON'T know everything that I have this bad habit of citing all the research I do here to answer questions. Questions I go into with an open mind to better learn and be a better person. The secret's out: I'm no immaculate angel.

As for my store? A small business in a downtown that struggles like many others? What a vile thing in America! On top of that, as you seem to know everything about me and it, did you know that my store is a place of art, music, literature, law, science, math, social studies, history, computers, competition, crafting, critical thinking, sportsmanship, and socializing?

Did you know that my store is a haven for kids who are bullied and called names (like d-bag) by people who think they are better than they are? For kids who have broken or abusive homes? For kids on the autism spectrum or have other developmental disabilities? A place that happily works with the local police and ECJFS?

Did you know that my mere "comic book store" mentors kids and teaches them to be better people? To think with open minds? To open their eyes and see that despite all the differences they have in race, religion, income level, etc. they are still brothers and sisters under the banner of social hobbies and reading?

I'll just presume you did because you know everything about my store and what it does. There's a reason I post under its name here and am darn proud to do so. That reason is I come here to advocate all the things that I try to uphold in the above sentences. Posting under its name keeps me from thinking selfishly and illogically because I am having to represent the community with it as best I can.

As such, they are aware I post. There are many times I pass around conversations here. Like I will do with this one. It's better for them to see just what kind of people post here to better understand just what life can do to a person. If it makes you feel better, you are a special kind of favorite to them.

Sincerely,

An imperfect human being, just like you

Contango

Re: "Constitutional law,"

In the early days of our country, even simple country folk would discuss the Constitution.

Think of the Lincoln-Douglas debates that went on for hours. People travelled several miles and took food with them in order to stay and listen.

Nowadays, remember the old Jay Leno "Man in the Street" segments?

H*ll most people couldn't name the VP of the U.S. when shown a picture.

Contango

Re: "Native American ancestors,"

Subjugated tribes allied with Cortez to overthrow the rule of the Aztecs.

The American aborigine learned to play the Europeans off against each other for their own benefit.

The idea of the "noble savage" is a myth. They are and were human with all the faults and failings as any other group of people.

JMOP

The "Trail of Tears"? Seems the euros weren't too kind to the ones already here, and I don't believe the Indians were welcoming of immigrants coming on shore.

Contango

Re: "Indians were welcoming of immigrants coming on shore."'

Yea those subjegagted tribes enjoyed being brutalized by the Aztecs.

Cortez fathered the first "Mexican" with a native woman. Many inhabitants in the Americas are a blend of several races and innumerable ethnicities.

The "noble savage" is a romantic myth - they never existed.

Treating the "Indians" and the "Euros" as collective peoples respectively leads to fallacious thinking. There were/are good and bad in each.

The Big Dog's back

You probably got the white man's account. Not probably, you did.

Contango

Re: "white man's account."

Blame the Indians for your tobacco addiction. :)

deertracker

The Natives were here first!

Contango

Re: "The Natives were here first!"

Out of uncontrollable guilt, feel free to "return" to your ancestral homeland.

fotobug

Yes we have. But decades ago, the only way one got is if they had a SPONSOR who would guarantee them a job and watch over them!

Darwin's choice

It's amazing that the Harvard Law Professor doesn't remember the LEGAL way to immigrate. Busing in tens of thousands of children is going to bite him in the azz....

obama/failing

jeff1988

Obama is a joke! Lets give them welfare, insurance and other benefits, while our veterans don't even get the health care they were promised! He needs to be impeached along with his whole cabinet! They are all tyrant morons who are looking to destroy this great country!!!

coasterfan

Uh, Jeff? It was Congressional Republicans who voted in February to deny health benefits to veterans. Can we impeach them first?

Fromthe419

I'm with you on that one coasterfan, throw them all out of office, put in term limits and no D or R after their name on the ballot, force people to learn what they stand for and make an informed choice rather than what letter is behind their name on the ballot.

dontknowmuch

Sure, then we can target Obama for failing to secure the borders. Despite having a law background, he sure has difficulty understanding the concept of securing our borders.

Contango

Re: "health benefits to veterans."

Deflection and off-topic.

Darwin's choice

The bill was voted down because one tenth of the amount of it was for veterans, the democrats allocated the rest of the monies for completely useless "pet pork" for themselves!
Please post a link to show the bill that was voted down coasterfan, I dare you to show your blind stupidity!

obama/failed

The Big Dog's back

The rejected Bills are named:

H.R. 466 – Wounded Veteran Job Security Act became H. R. 2875.

H.R. 1168 -- Veterans Retraining Act

H.R. 1171 – Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Reauthorization

H.R. 1172 -- Requiring List on VA Website of Organizations Providing Scholarships for Veterans

H.R. 1293 -- Disabled Veterans Home Improvement and Structural Alteration Grant Increase Act of 2009

H.R. 1803 -- Veterans Business Center Act

H.R. 2352 – Job Creation Through Entrepreneurship Act

DETAILS OF BILLS REJECTED BY REPUBLICANS:

H.R. 466 – Wounded Veteran Job Security Act – This bill would actually provide job security for veterans who are receiving medical treatment for injuries suffered while fighting in defense of their country. It would prohibit employers from terminating
employees who miss work while receiving treatment for a service-related disability.

H.R. 1168 -- Veterans Retraining Act – This bill would provide for assistance to help veterans who are currently unemployed with their expenses while retraining for the current job market

The Big Dog's back

goofus/darwin, anything else you want to know?

Contango

Re: "anything else you want to know?"

The titles of the legislation tell you nothing, it's all about content and intent - next.

Darwin's choice

Not even a good good try, azz hat! I know what the bills numbers are, why don't you list what's included in each and every one, and what monetary amounts are going for what projects!

Go ahead moron, take a good look, see for your ignorant self where the money was headed!!

Your incredible azz kissing stupidity is typical! It's too bad your near death experience was wasted on you!

The Big Dog's back

This country was founded by the white man. Oh, wait a minute, the native Americans and Mexicans were here 1st.

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