President Obama gave an interview to Univision, a Spanish language broadcaster on Wednesday 19th September 2012 and said 'my biggest failure so far is we haven't gotten comprehensive immigration reform done.' However, he said that his failure was largely caused by the Republicans in Congress; particularly the 20 Congressmen who were on the record as supporters of reform but who had refused to cooperate with Democrats to change the law.
Mr Obama made a
commitment to reform the immigration system in 2008 when he was the Democratic
candidate for the presidency. Jorge Ramos, the Univision news presenter, said
'At the beginning of your government you had control of both chambers of
Congress and yet you did not introduce immigration reform.'
President replied that, in his first year as President, he had concentrated
purely on the economy. He added that he had been unable to persuade any
Republicans to support his government's plans for immigration reform. He
admitted that he had found it difficult to get legislation passed through
Congress and expressed frustration with the US Congress, which is described
by commentators as 'gridlocked'.
The two main parties in Congress,
the Democrats and the Republicans, are evenly balanced in both houses of
Congress; The House of Representatives and The Senate. Since elections were held
in 2010, the Republicans have a small majority in the House of Representatives,
while the Democrats retain a small majority in the Senate. In both chambers, the
numbers of Democrats and Republicans are fairly evenly balanced but the DREAM
Act would need to gain majorities in both houses in order to become law.
Therefore, without bipartisan support, it will be very difficult for the
proposed Act to become law. Commentators say that political divisions in America
are becoming more entrenched and Congressmen are less and less willing to work
with their opponents to pass compromise legislation that contains elements that
please both parties.
Many Americans feel a growing frustration with
'Washington'. President Obama told Mr Ramos 'you can't change Washington from
the inside. You can only change Washington from the outside. That's how the big
accomplishments got done, because we mobilised the American people to speak
The Republican candidate for the upcoming presidential
election, Mitt Romney, jumped on President Obama's words yesterday and said they
were an admission of defeat. 'The President threw up the white flag of surrender
again,' he said; 'His slogan was 'Yes we can'. His slogan now is 'No we
Immigration has become a major area of difference between
Democrats and Republicans in the election, which will be held on November 6th
2012. The President has again committed himself to reforming the system in the
first year of his second term. Mr Romney told an audience of Hispanic
businessmen in Los Angeles last week that he wants to see reform
Mr Romney supports states like Arizona that have taken a hard
line on illegal immigration. He has said he supports the deportation of illegal
immigrants. He says the US
must 'regain control of our borders'. He has accused President Obama of making
reforms to the immigration system in order to win votes from Hispanic
The President supports 'The DREAM Act' which would grant
permanent residency to many illegal immigrants who came to the US as children.
Mr Romney has said that, if he becomes President, he will veto the DREAM Act if
Congress passes it.
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