Obama on DREAM Act: “No is not an option”
The president reaffirmed his support for the DREAM Act before a Latino audience at the White House.
With President Obama coming under pressure from Latino groups and some Republicans on the hot-button issue of immigration, he took time at a White House Cinco de Mayo reception to reaffirm his support for the DREAM Act, a stalled bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for some undocumented minors.
President Obama told a largely Hispanic audience today that he is ready to sign the DREAM Act and blamed Republicans for the failure of the legislation that would grant illegal immigrant students a path to citizenship.
“We’re going to keep fighting for this common-sense reform — not just because hundreds of thousands of talented young students depend on it, but because ultimately America depends on it,” the president said at the annual Cinco de Mayo reception at the White House. “‘No’ is not an option. I want to sign the DREAM Act into law. I’ve got the pens all ready. I’m willing to work with anybody who is serious to get this done, and to achieve bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform that solves this challenge once and for all.”
Today’s election-year celebration comes as the president courts Latino voters in the run-up to November.
But pressure is mounting on Obama from immigration-reform groups and Latino lawmakers to act to help undocumented youth who face deportation, even though Congress remains gripped by partisan deadlock in an election year.
Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio is also proposing a pared-down version of the DREAM Act that could challenge the president’s message on immigration. Obama did not address that proposal directly at the Cinco de Mayo reception, though he said he stands ready to work with any one who is “serious” about accomplishing immigration reform.
(Photo: Flickr.com/Matt Ortega)