Obama’s and Biden’s Immigrant Roots

Vice-President Joe Biden said today that current immigration laws would not have allowed him or President Obama to be in the position they are in today.

Biden spoke today at Esperanza’s 2013 National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast and he spoke of both Obama’s and his own immigrant heritage.

Biden said his great-great-grandfather emigrated from Ireland in 1850 and worked in the U.S. as a shoemaker and was able to bring his family over. He then explained that Obama’s great-great-great-grandfather left the same part of Ireland within one month of Biden’s relative. He said this was amazing.

“Barack Obama and I are now the president and vice president of the United States of America. If we applied the same standards that we are applying today, it wouldn’t have happened.”

Biden talked about just how difficult it really is to move to a foreign place and start from nothing.

“We are going to sacrifice everything we have, everything we own, we are going to take you to a foreign land where they don’t speak our language and you might never get a chance to come back home again. Is that an easy decision?…That’s a hard decision. … We act like it’s an easy decision for people to drop everything they have.”

Biden seemed to be proud of the Senate for moving forward with the immigration reform bill. The Senate is still working on deciding over many amendments. They are planning to finish voting by July 4.

The vice president criticized Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and the House of Representatives for sponsoring an amendment that would deport DREAMers. It passed in the House’s spending bill but it has no chance of being signed into law.  The House of Representatives has a Republican majority.

Biden referred to DREAMers as “our children.”


More on Immigration Reform:

  • Immigration Reform 2013
  • Gang of 8
  • Earned Citizenship
  • Streamlining Immigration
  • Strengthening Border Security
  • More Accountability for Employers Hiring Undocumented Immigrants