Immigration Blog Roundup

Last week, President Obama delivered a major speech in which he called on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Reactions to the speech among progressive blogs are mixed: the speech was "everything we've come to expect of him," says Teresa Puente at ChicagoNow, because it was well written and delivered, but short on concrete details. For example, the speech did not offer any new details about the Justice Department's upcoming lawsuit over Arizona's S.B. 1070. The Rev. Jesse Jackson was more enthusiastic about the speech, however, calling it "a high moment of vision" on the Huffington Post.

Over at The Daily Beast, Bryan Curtis wonders why Obama chose to run with immigration reform now, after very little action on the issue for most of his presidency thus far. Curtis comes up with a few reasons: Obama's recent meeting with a group of immigration activists, his steadily decreasing approval rate among Hispanics, and the mass defection of Latinos from the Republican party, most likely due to the party's increasingly hard-line stance on immigration. The full article is worth a read.

And what's the GOP's response to Obama's push? So far, it seems like more of the same. There's the "amnesty" line: former radio host J. D. Hayworth, John McCain's opponent in the Arizona Republican Senate primary, said that the speech advocated for "amnesty, pure and simple." There's the "pandering" line: Senator Orrin Hatch accused Obama of "pandering to Hispanics" by "pretending [to do] something about immigration." And there's the "distraction" line: Laura Ingraham, guest-hosting The O'Reilly Factor, accused Obama of stirring up divisive issues like immigration in order to detract from the failing economy.

Finally, a light note: liberals and poets alike were glad to see Obama end his speech with a quote from poet and activist Emma Lazarus' most famous sonnet, "The New Colossus." As it turns out, though, Obama actually misquoted the poem: the poem reads "Give me your tired, your poor, / your huddled masses yearning to breathe free," not "to be free." To be fair, though, the President was the editor-in-chief of the Harvard Law Review, not the Harvard Literary Review.

A full transcript of Obama's speech is available here.

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Tags: Opportunity, immigration, obama (all tags)

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