President Obama Sent Lunar Appeal for Immigration Reform
All Chinese should be proud of this. China’s resurgence to prominence has made it customary for Western leaders send Chinese new year greetings. Such act can be ordinarily read as a gesture of both etiquette and friendship. It is, however, obvious to see the political needs of each nation through each head of state’s lunar new year greeting.
President Obama used this opportunity to appeal for comprehensive immigration reform and to showcase the spirit of American pluralism. He sent a warm wish at the start and a courteous call for unity in the end, “Whether you are celebrating the year of the ram, the year of the goat or the year of the sheep, may we all do out part to carry forward the work of perfecting this country that we love. Happy New Year, everybody.” Everything in between was a well-crafted appeal to the immigrant community in the U.S. and to the moderate voters to push for meaningful immigration reform.
The gist of his message is clear: President finds patchworks unsatisfactory. In all honesty, this is an aggressive appeal, compared to his Democratic predecessor, Bill Clinton.
Recent Presidents are no strangers to send Chinese New Year greetings. President Clinton also issued a celebratory note for Chinese new year observance on February 8, 1996. In the note, he focused on commending contribution of Chinese immigrants. They brought “… a respect for family, a reverence for knowledge, and an unwavering determination to make tomorrow better than today.” His ending is, nonetheless, more rhetorical and less political than that of Obama, “Let us rejoice together in this season of renewal and resolve to work for a future of harmony and prosperity for us all.” During the decade of cultural war, he shrewdly paid respect to sentiments espoused by conservative values.
Below is President’s 2015 Chinese New Year greeting, by White House, for your view. Here is the original YouTube Link, all copyright to White House and the United States of America.