Obama Inaugural Immigration Comments

President Obama was sworn in yesterday for his second term, and during his speech, he made a few comments on immigration, immigrant youth and highly-skilled immigrants:

“Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity, until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.”

Toward the end of his first term, Obama’s Administration created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has thus far approved more than 150,000 young undocumented immigrants for a reprieve from deportation and an employment authorization. Still, to many, Obama’s speech seems like empty rhetoric. In his first term, he separated thousands of families by deporting more than 1.5 million immigrants.

The statement he made about enlisting engineers into the workforce has to do with the need for a more highly-skilled workforce in the United States. Immigration reform this year is expected to address methods to increase the number of visas given to foreign-born graduates who have graduated from U.S. universities with advanced degrees in STEM fields. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. In his inaugural speech he also said the following about STEM Fields:

“No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people.”