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2012 Democratic Presidential Nominee
Current President of the United States

Barack Obama

Presidential Candidate Barack Obama

Obama position on Immigration

Immigration: Yea or Nae
“In recent days the issue of immigration has become once more a source of fresh contention in our country with the passage of a controversial law in Arizona and the heated reactions we’ve seen across America… Given the levels of frustration across the country, this is understandable, but it is also ill-conceived… Our task … is to make our national laws actually work, to shape a system that reflects our values as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants… And that means being honest about the problem and getting past the false debates that divide the country rather than bring it together… Contrary to some of the reports that you see, crime along the border is down. And statistics collected by Customs and Border Protection reflect a significant reduction in the number of people trying to cross the border illegally… Finally, we have to demand responsibility from people living here illegally… They must be required to admit that they broke the law. They should be required to register, pay their taxes, pay a fine and learn English… They must get right with the law before they can get in line and earn their citizenship.”
July 1, 2011, Speaking at the American University’s School of International Service in Washington

On Amnesty
“If the majority of Americans are skeptical of a blanket amnesty, they are also skeptical that it is possible to round up and deport 11 million people. They know it’s not possible. Such an effort would be logistically impossible and wildly expensive. Moreover, it would tear at the very fabric of this nation—because immigrants who are here illegally are now intricately woven into that fabric. Many have children who are American citizens. Some are children themselves, brought here by their parents at a very young age, growing up as American kids, only to discover their illegal status when they apply for college or a job.”
July 1, 2011, Speaking at the American University’s School of International Service in Washington

On Deportation
“We have a system right now that allows the best and the brightest to come and study in America, and then tells them to leave, set up the next great company someplace else. We have a system that tolerates immigrants and businesses that breaks the rules and punishes those that follows the rules. We have a system that separates families, and punishes innocent young people for their parents’ actions by denying them the chance to earn an education or contribute to our economy or serve in our military… These are the laws on the books. I swore an oath to uphold the laws on the books. But that doesn’t mean I don’t know very well the real pain and heartbreak that deportations cost. I share your concerns, and I understand them. And I promise you we are responding to your concern and working every day to make sure we are enforcing flawed laws in the most humane and best possible way.”
July 25, 2011, Obama speaking at the National Council of La Raza event in Washington

On Legislation
“We need immigration reform that will secure our borders, and punish employers who exploit immigrant labor; reform that finally brings the 12 million people who are here illegally out of the shadows by requiring them to take steps to become legal citizens We must assert our values and reconcile our principles as a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws.”
Jun 28, 2008, Obama speaking at the National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials conference in Washington

U.S. Mexico Border Fence
“So here’s the point. I want everybody to listen carefully to this. We have gone above and beyond what was requested by the very Republicans who said they supported broader reform as long as we got serious about enforcement. All the stuff they asked for, we’ve done. But even though we’ve answered these concerns, I’ve got to say I suspect there are still going to be some who are trying to move the goal posts on us one more time. You know, they said we needed to triple the Border Patrol. Or now they’re going to say we need to quadruple the Border Patrol. Or they’ll want a higher fence. Maybe they’ll need a moat. Maybe they want alligators in the moat. They’ll never be satisfied. And I understand that. That’s politics.”
May 10, 2011, Obama speaking at the Chamizal National Memorial in El Paso, Texas

Clockwise from top left: Secondary border fence between San Diego sector & Tijuana; Levee-Wall at Hidalgo County, Texas; Vehicle fence in El Paso, New Mexico; and pedestrian fence Eagle Pass, Texas

Introduction to the 2016 Democratic Presidential Candidates
Mitt Romney on Immigration
All Presidential Candidates on Immigration
Compare Romney and Obama on Immigration

Comment on Barack Obama's position on Immigration

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