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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid