News / USA

Obama Defends Deportations, Lobbies for Jobs Bill

President Obama speaks during an online roundtable at the White House, September 28, 2011
President Obama speaks during an online roundtable at the White House, September 28, 2011
TEXT SIZE - +

U.S. President Barack Obama has defended his administration's record on immigration and advocated for his new job-creation proposal in an online roundtable discussion aimed at the Hispanic community.

The hour-long discussion, streamed live in English and dubbed in Spanish on the White House website Wednesday, is part of a push by the Obama administration to re-energize the support of groups that backed the president during the last election.

Mr. Obama told listeners he is trying enforce what he called the U.S.'s "inadequate" immigration laws in a "just and humane way."  He said his administration is doing this in part by focusing its deportation efforts on violent criminals and not students and law-abiding workers.

He also responded to criticism that his administration has sharply increased the total number of deportations, saying the figures seem high because there is better enforcement at the border. Mr. Obama said many of the deportations include people caught and sent back while trying to cross the border, not people who have been living and working in the U.S.

The president said he continues to advocate a comprehensive reform of U.S. immigration laws that would include strong border security, going after companies that hire and exploit undocumented workers, and creating a path to legal status for the estimated 11 million people in the U.S. illegally. He blamed Republicans in Congress for blocking efforts to change the laws.

President Obama also used the hour-long discussion to continue campaigning for his $447 billion jobs bill, saying it would create employment for construction workers - including many Hispanics - laid off after the housing bubble burst.  He also said the bill's education provisions will help train young Latinos to get good jobs when they enter the workforce.  

The discussion featured questions posed by readers of several websites, including Yahoo, MSN Latino, and AOL Latino/Huffington Post Latino Voice.  

Mr. Obama has in recent months been trying to maintain or win back support from the nation's 50 million Hispanics, whose votes he will need to win re-election in 2012. Some recent surveys have shown a drop in his approval rating among the group.

The online discussion is the second time this week Mr. Obama has addressed questions from an online audience.  Monday, the president answered questions submitted on the social networking site LinkedIn, as part of a three-day, five-city campaign tour.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid