Nearly a year after he visited Del Sol High School in Las Vegas to call for comprehensive immigration reform, President Barack Obama returned to discuss and promote his plans to do just that.
Because Congress has yet to pass an immigration reform bill, Obama announced Thursday that he would take executive action to prevent the deportation of millions of immigrants who were either brought to the U.S. as children (without documentation) prior to 2010 or are the undocumented parents of U.S. citizens.
Friday, Obama traveled to Las Vegas to tout his plan, giving a speech that again called attention to his mission to bring fairness and reform to the country’s immigration system.
“I’ve come back to Del Sol to tell you I’m not giving up. I will never give up. … We’re going to keep on working with members of Congress to make permanent reform a reality,” Obama said in his speech. “But until that day comes, there are actions that I have the legal authority to take and that will help make our immigration system more fair and just.”
Obama’s speech did not go completely smoothly, however. He was interrupted by a 25-year-old DREAMer from Arizona who was upset that his mother was ineligible for deferred deportation under the president’s plan. The president responded by explaining that further action still needed to be taken.
“That’s right, not everybody will qualify under this provision,” Obama said. “That’s the truth. That’s why we’re still going to have to pass a bill.”
Overall, proponents of immigration reform seem to be pleased with the steps the president is taking to defer the deportation of millions of undocumented individuals in the U.S. who are living peacefully and contributing to society.
“This is a huge victory for our community,” activist Astrid Silva, who was mentioned in Obama’s speech, told a crowd at Hermandad Mexicana Nacional, according to The Washington Post.