Immigration Issue Highlighted in the Address

 The President Highlighted the Immigration Issue

Obama SOU 2015


 

In the State of the Union Address on 01/20/2015, the President turned the page and hailed to a more palpable state of affairs. The immigration issue received honorary mention, among other pressing issues the President emphasized. Among the President’s call for better politics, immigration issue stands out.

Stylistically, this State of the Union Address is a little different, because the President really focused on the family. The body of his speech started with a family story of comeback from recession and ended with a call for unity, like a family. In the snowy Minneapolis, Rebakah and Ben Earle struggled through the winter of recession and still worked hard for a prosperous future. Their return to normalcy is fittingly descriptive of our nation, therefore, that of every citizens. Everything is back on track, so long as we allow them to remain so, for better. Ben and Rebekah, a proudly hard-working family, still need our help to realize their American promise. Thus, maternity leave, higher minimum wage, and free community college education for many are indispensable. To do so, courage to help each other, like members of a family always do, is indispensable.

Toward the end, Immigration issue was mentioned among the highlighted issues that require attention. On the transcript, immigration problem received a paragraph of its own. Like always, the mention of immigration focused on two campaign promises—prospect to stay for aspiring young immigrants (particularly students) and prioritized concern for the integrity of family (mother should stay with children).

Yes, passions still fly on immigration, but surely we can all see something of ourselves in the striving young student, and agree that no one benefits when a hardworking mom is taken from her child, and that it’s possible to shape a law that upholds our tradition as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.

The President took a stance as a reasonable leader, hopeful in the power of normalcy in American politics. In his plea for reasonable politics, he emphasized, “We can’t put the security of families at risk by taking away their health insurance, or unraveling the new rules on Wall Street, or refighting past battles on immigration when we’ve got a system to fix.” A clear signal is sent to friends and opponents—do not over-politicize immigration and let’s do better politics.

The President was wise not to overly highlight the immigration issue. After all, he himself acknowledged in the speech, “Yes, passions still fly on immigration.” After all, there are extant laws that allow families to stay together; yet, students could not stay unless job opportunities significantly increase. The President further illustrated his adherence to a moderate stance by omitting the pathway for special talents. Such programs are the only bipartisan-friendly immigration matter.  After all, expansion of such programs to overtake the current priority over family is rational. Yet, such messages would espouse too much raw emotion among voters in Republican districts. As much as Republican leaders may be willing to support talent retention, they are still representatives. The President, thus, has shown resoluteness to realize his promises and willingness to work with the majority in both chambers.

In his manner of speech, the President made clear his priority on immigration. He wanted a system better at deporting criminals, keeping families together and retaining young talents. We will see how the new Congress reacts. The address has been apparently well-received, for a lame-duck President. Now, it is Republicans who cannot afford to instigate pro-longed political stalemates.


 

 

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Richard Herman is a nationally-known immigration attorney with 20+ years of experience representing families and businesses in all aspects of immigration law. Richard was voted for inclusion in the 2015 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© and listed in Super Lawyers© for ten consecutive years, Richard is the founder of the Herman Legal Group, an immigration law firm serving clients in over 12 languages from offices in Cleveland, Columbus and Detroit, whose attorneys have represented diverse clientele, from Fortune 500 companies to undocumented workers, from technology entrepreneurs to NFL teams. He is the co-author of the acclaimed book, Immigrant, Inc. ---Why Immigrant Entrepreneurs Are Driving the New Economy (John Wiley & Sons, 2009). Richard has appeared FOX News (The O’Reilly Factor), ABC News 20/20, National Public Radio, and has appeared in the New York Times, USA Today, BusinessWeek, Forbes, Inc., PC World, Computerworld, CIO, TechCrunch and InformationWeek.

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