Lights, Camera, Action !

The glitz and glamour of Washington D.C. melts fast in the desert of immigration reform.

I think the President realized that the "all talk no
action" approach was not going to work this time.

I think he realized that the glitz and glamour of Washington D.C. melts fast in the desert of immigration reform.   Eight noble men have worked long and hard
for 3 months to bring to the table a solution for immigration that will last  in all likelihood another 30 years.   The president has been doing his part. He
has deported more illegals and the majority of them have criminal backgrounds.
If he says that illegal border crossings are down 80% I’ll take his word for it,
because that means that this new immigration reform bill should pass both houses in record speed just like the new gun bill. The issues will be time and money. For those who want illegals to be punished for their illegal entry, the punishment will be dealt with using both time and money.   I assure you government agencies have the most brilliant ways to waste both so there will be no shortage of punishment no matter what the bill says. I firmly believe that by getting our immigration policies reformed our county will benefit.  An attorney I
worked for, whom was a devout Catholic, believed that America’s success was
based on the Bible’s rule concerning aliens:

Exodus 22:21, "You shall not wrong or oppress a
resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt." Reminding the
people of biblical Israel that they had been slaves in Egypt, the Hebrews are
enjoined to treat aliens, foreigners and sojourners in their midst fairly, and
with respect. Leviticus 19:34 echoes and expands upon the Exodus teaching.
"The alien who resides among you shall be to you as the citizen among you;
you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt;
I am the Lord your God." From the New Testament Letter to the Hebrews we
hear, "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing so
some have entertained angels unawares."   
 Reforming immigration now while the country is still trying to shake off the devastating blow of the economic disaster will open a new chapter of success in
America.  We will be burying our prejudice, our fears, our jealousy, and, for some, racism. While some places in the Middle East and Asia will be busy burning, beheading, trying hold back women, instilling fear in the hearts of those who don’t do this or that, we will be busy incorporating a new body of self-reliant and
self-respecting Americans – the newest chapter in a 230 year old story. .

Just in case you missed it the President Obamas speach below:

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
January 29, 2013

Remarks by the President on Comprehensive Immigration

Del Sol High School
Las Vegas, Nevada

11:40 A.M. PST

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you! 
(Applause.)  Thank you!  Thank you so much.  (Applause.)  It is good to be back
in Las Vegas!  (Applause.)  And it is good to be among so many good

Let me start off by thanking everybody at Del Sol High School
for hosting us.  (Applause.)  Go Dragons!  Let me especially thank your
outstanding principal, Lisa Primas.  (Applause.)

There are all kinds of
notable guests here, but I just want to mention a few.  First of all, our
outstanding Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano,
is here.  (Applause.)  Our wonderful Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar. 
(Applause.)  Former Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis.  (Applause.)  Two of the
outstanding members of the congressional delegation from Nevada, Steve Horsford
and Dina Titus.  (Applause.)  Your own mayor, Carolyn Goodman. 

But we also have some mayors that flew in because they know
how important the issue we’re going to talk about today is.  Marie Lopez Rogers
from Avondale, Arizona.  (Applause.)  Kasim Reed from Atlanta, Georgia. 
(Applause.)  Greg Stanton from Phoenix, Arizona.  (Applause.)  And Ashley
Swearengin from Fresno, California.  (Applause.)

And all of you are
here, as well as some of the top labor leaders in the country.  And we are just
so grateful.  Some outstanding business leaders are here as well.  And of
course, we’ve got wonderful students here, so I could not be prouder of our
students.  (Applause.)

Now, those of you have a seat, feel free to take
a seat.  I don’t mind.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  I love you, Mr.

THE PRESIDENT:  I love you back.  (Applause.)

last week, I had the honor of being sworn in for a second term as President of
the United States.  (Applause.)  And during my inaugural address, I talked about
how making progress on the defining challenges of our time doesn’t require us to
settle every debate or ignore every difference that we may have, but it does
require us to find common ground and move forward in common purpose.  It
requires us to act. 

I know that some issues will be harder to lift
than others.  Some debates will be more contentious.  That’s to be expected. 
But the reason I came here today is because of a challenge where the differences
are dwindling; where a broad consensus is emerging; and where a call for action
can now be heard coming from all across America.  I’m here today because the
time has come for common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform.  (Applause.) 
The time is now.  Now is the time.  Now is the time.  Now is the

AUDIENCE:  Sí se puede!  Sí se puede!

is the time. 

I’m here because most Americans agree that it’s time to
fix a system that’s been broken for way too long.  I’m here because business
leaders, faith leaders, labor leaders, law enforcement, and leaders from both
parties are coming together to say now is the time to find a better way to
welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as the land of
opportunity.  Now is the time to do this so we can strengthen our economy and
strengthen our country’s future.

Think about it -- we define ourselves
as a nation of immigrants.  That’s who we are -- in our bones.  The promise we
see in those who come here from every corner of the globe, that’s always been
one of our greatest strengths.  It keeps our workforce young.  It keeps our
country on the cutting edge.  And it’s helped build the greatest economic engine
the world has ever known.

After all, immigrants helped start businesses
like Google and Yahoo!.  They created entire new industries that, in turn,
created new jobs and new prosperity for our citizens.  In recent years, one in
four high-tech startups in America were founded by immigrants.  One in four new
small business owners were immigrants, including right here in Nevada -- folks
who came here seeking opportunity and now want to share that opportunity with
other Americans.

But we all know that today, we have an immigration
system that’s out of date and badly broken; a system that’s holding us back
instead of helping us grow our economy and strengthen our middle

Right now, we have 11 million undocumented immigrants in
America; 11 million men and women from all over the world who live their lives
in the shadows.  Yes, they broke the rules.  They crossed the border illegally. 
Maybe they overstayed their visas.  Those are facts.  Nobody disputes them.  But
these 11 million men and women are now here.  Many of them have been here for
years.  And the overwhelming majority of these individuals aren’t looking for
any trouble.  They’re contributing members of the community.  They're looking
out for their families.  They're looking out for their neighbors.  They're woven
into the fabric of our lives. 

Every day, like the rest of us, they go
out and try to earn a living.  Often they do that in a shadow economy -- a place
where employers may offer them less than the minimum wage or make them work
overtime without extra pay.  And when that happens, it’s not just bad for them,
it’s bad for the entire economy.  Because all the businesses that are trying to
do the right thing -- that are hiring people legally, paying a decent wage,
following the rules -- they’re the ones who suffer.   They've got to compete
against companies that are breaking the rules.  And the wages and working
conditions of American workers are threatened, too.

So if we're truly
committed to strengthening our middle class and providing more ladders of
opportunity to those who are willing to work hard to make it into the middle
class, we've got to fix the system.

We have to make sure that every
business and every worker in America is playing by the same set of rules.  We
have to bring this shadow economy into the light so that everybody is held
accountable -- businesses for who they hire, and immigrants for getting on the
right side of the law.  That’s common sense.  And that’s why we need
comprehensive immigration reform.  (Applause.)

There’s another economic
reason why we need reform.  It’s not just about the folks who come here
illegally and have the effect they have on our economy.  It’s also about the
folks who try to come here legally but have a hard time doing so, and the effect
that has on our economy.

Right now, there are brilliant students from
all over the world sitting in classrooms at our top universities.  They’re
earning degrees in the fields of the future, like engineering and computer
science.  But once they finish school, once they earn that diploma, there’s a
good chance they’ll have to leave our country.  Think about that.

was started with the help of an immigrant who studied here and then stayed
here.  Instagram was started with the help of an immigrant who studied here and
then stayed here.  Right now in one of those classrooms, there’s a student
wrestling with how to turn their big idea -- their Intel or Instagram -- into a
big business.  We’re giving them all the skills they need to figure that out,
but then we’re going to turn around and tell them to start that business and
create those jobs in China or India or Mexico or someplace else?  That’s not how
you grow new industries in America.  That’s how you give new industries to our
competitors.   That’s why we need comprehensive immigration reform. 

Now, during my first term, we took steps to try and patch up
some of the worst cracks in the system.

First, we strengthened security
at the borders so that we could finally stem the tide of illegal immigrants.  We
put more boots on the ground on the southern border than at any time in our
history.  And today, illegal crossings are down nearly 80 percent from their
peak in 2000.  (Applause.)

Second, we focused our enforcement efforts
on criminals who are here illegally and who endanger our communities.  And
today, deportations of criminals is at its highest level ever. 

And third, we took up the cause of the DREAMers --
(applause) -- the young people who were brought to this country as children,
young people who have grown up here, built their lives here, have futures here. 
We said that if you’re able to meet some basic criteria like pursuing an
education, then we’ll consider offering you the chance to come out of the
shadows so that you can live here and work here legally, so that you can finally
have the dignity of knowing you belong.

But because this change isn’t
permanent, we need Congress to act -- and not just on the DREAM Act.  We need
Congress to act on a comprehensive approach that finally deals with the 11
million undocumented immigrants who are in the country right now.  That's what
we need.  (Applause.)

Now, the good news is that for the first time in
many years, Republicans and Democrats seem ready to tackle this problem
together.  (Applause.)  Members of both parties, in both chambers, are actively
working on a solution.  Yesterday, a bipartisan group of senators announced
their principles for comprehensive immigration reform, which are very much in
line with the principles I’ve proposed and campaigned on for the last few
years.  So at this moment, it looks like there’s a genuine desire to get this
done soon, and that’s very encouraging.

But this time, action must
follow.  (Applause.)  We can't allow immigration reform to get bogged down in an
endless debate.  We've been debating this a very long time.  So it's not as if
we don't know technically what needs to get done.  As a consequence, to help
move this process along, today I’m laying out my ideas for immigration reform. 
And my hope is that this provides some key markers to members of Congress as
they craft a bill, because the ideas I’m proposing have traditionally been
supported by both Democrats like Ted Kennedy and Republicans like President
George W. Bush.  You don't get that matchup very often.  (Laughter.)  So we know
where the consensus should be.

Now, of course, there will be rigorous
debate about many of the details, and every stakeholder should engage in real
give and take in the process.  But it’s important for us to recognize that the
foundation for bipartisan action is already in place.  And if Congress is unable
to move forward in a timely fashion, I will send up a bill based on my proposal
and insist that they vote on it right away.  (Applause.)

So the
principles are pretty straightforward.  There are a lot of details behind it. 
We're going to hand out a bunch of paper so that everybody will know exactly
what we're talking about.  But the principles are pretty

First, I believe we need to stay focused on
enforcement.  That means continuing to strengthen security at our borders.  It
means cracking down more forcefully on businesses that knowingly hire
undocumented workers.  To be fair, most businesses want to do the right thing,
but a lot of them have a hard time figuring out who’s here legally, who’s not. 
So we need to implement a national system that allows businesses to quickly and
accurately verify someone’s employment status.  And if they still knowingly hire
undocumented workers, then we need to ramp up the penalties.

Second, we
have to deal with the 11 million individuals who are here illegally.  We all
agree that these men and women should have to earn their way to citizenship. 
But for comprehensive immigration reform to work, it must be clear from the
outset that there is a pathway to citizenship.  (Applause.)

We’ve got
to lay out a path -- a process that includes passing a background check, paying
taxes, paying a penalty, learning English, and then going to the back of the
line, behind all the folks who are trying to come here legally.  That's only
fair, right?  (Applause.)

So that means it won’t be a quick process but
it will be a fair process.  And it will lift these individuals out of the
shadows and give them a chance to earn their way to a green card and eventually
to citizenship.  (Applause.)

And the third principle is we’ve got to
bring our legal immigration system into the 21st century because it no longer
reflects the realities of our time.  (Applause.)  For example, if you are a
citizen, you shouldn’t have to wait years before your family is able to join you
in America.  You shouldn't have to wait years.  (Applause.)

If you’re a
foreign student who wants to pursue a career in science or technology, or a
foreign entrepreneur who wants to start a business with the backing of American
investors, we should help you do that here.  Because if you succeed, you’ll
create American businesses and American jobs.  You’ll help us grow our economy. 
You’ll help us strengthen our middle class.

So that’s what
comprehensive immigration reform looks like:  smarter enforcement; a pathway to
earned citizenship; improvements in the legal immigration system so that we
continue to be a magnet for the best and the brightest all around the world. 
It’s pretty straightforward. 

The question now is simple:  Do we have
the resolve as a people, as a country, as a government to finally put this issue
behind us?  I believe that we do.  I believe that we do.  (Applause.)  I believe
we are finally at a moment where comprehensive immigration reform is within our

But I promise you this:  The closer we get, the more emotional
this debate is going to become.  Immigration has always been an issue that
enflames passions.  That’s not surprising.  There are few things that are more
important to us as a society than who gets to come here and call our country
home; who gets the privilege of becoming a citizen of the United States of
America.  That's a big deal.

When we talk about that in the abstract,
it’s easy sometimes for the discussion to take on a feeling of “us” versus
“them.”  And when that happens, a lot of folks forget that most of “us” used to
be “them.”  We forget that.  (Applause.) 

It’s really important for us
to remember our history.  Unless you’re one of the first Americans, a Native
American, you came from someplace else.  Somebody brought you. 

Ken Salazar, he’s of Mexican American descent, but he points
that his family has been living where he lives for 400 years, so he didn't
immigrate anywhere.  (Laughter.)

The Irish who left behind a land of
famine.  The Germans who fled persecution.  The Scandinavians who arrived eager
to pioneer out west.  The Polish.  The Russians.  The Italians.  The Chinese. 
The Japanese.  The West Indians.  The huddled masses who came through Ellis
Island on one coast and Angel Island on the other.  (Applause.)  All those
folks, before they were “us,” they were “them.”

And when each new wave
of immigrants arrived, they faced resistance from those who were already here. 
They faced hardship.  They faced racism.  They faced ridicule.  But over time,
as they went about their daily lives, as they earned a living, as they raised a
family, as they built a community, as their kids went to school here, they did
their part to build a nation.

They were the Einsteins and the

Carnegies.  But they were also the millions of women and men whose names history
may not remember, but whose actions helped make us who we are; who built this
country hand by hand, brick by brick.  (Applause.)  They all came here knowing
that what makes somebody an American is not just blood or birth, but allegiance
to our founding principles and the faith in the idea that anyone from anywhere
can write the next great chapter of our story.

And that’s still true
today.  Just ask Alan Aleman.  Alan is here this afternoon -- where is Alan? 
He's around here -- there he is right here.  (Applause.)  Alan was born in
Mexico.  (Applause.)  He was brought to this country by his parents when he was
a child.  Growing up, Alan went to an American school, pledged allegiance to the
American flag, felt American in every way -- and he was, except for one:  on

In high school, Alan watched his friends come of age -- driving
around town with their new licenses, earning some extra cash from their summer
jobs at the mall.  He knew he couldn’t do those things.  But it didn’t matter
that much.  What mattered to Alan was earning an education so that he could live
up to his God-given potential.

Last year, when Alan heard the news that
we were going to offer a chance for folks like him to emerge from the shadows --
even if it's just for two years at a time -- he was one of the first to sign
up.  And a few months ago he was one of the first people in Nevada to get
approved.  (Applause.)  In that moment, Alan said, “I felt the fear vanish.  I
felt accepted.”

So today, Alan is in his second year at the College of
Southern Nevada.  (Applause.)  Alan is studying to become a doctor. 
(Applause.)  He hopes to join the Air Force.  He’s working hard every single day
to build a better life for himself and his family.  And all he wants is the
opportunity to do his part to build a better America.  (Applause.)  

in the coming weeks, as the idea of reform becomes more real and the debate
becomes more heated, and there are folks who are trying to pull this thing
apart, remember Alan and all those who share the same hopes and the same
dreams.  Remember that this is not just a debate about policy.  It’s about
people.  It’s about men and women and young people who want nothing more than
the chance to earn their way into the American story.

Throughout our
history, that has only made our nation stronger.  And it’s how we will make sure
that this century is the same as the last:  an American century welcoming of
everybody who aspires to do something more, and who is willing to work hard to
do it, and is willing to pledge that allegiance to our flag.

you.  God bless you.  And God bless the United States of America. 

12:05 P.M. PST

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