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

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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid