On Tuesday, October 23rd, President Obama participated in an off-the-record interview with the Des Moines Register in which he revealed his immigration plans for a second term if elected. This interview was only made public after the paper argued that it should be available to voters and the Obama campaign gave permission. President Obama states that he is confident that immigration reform will pass and a grand bargain will be established with Congress.
In the interview he says, “The second thing I’m confident we’ll get done next year is immigration reform. And since this is off the record, I will just be very blunt. Should I win a second term, a big reason I will win a second term is because the Republican nominee and the Republican Party have so alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community. . . And I want to get it done because it’s the right thing to do and I’ve cared about this ever since I ran back in 2008.” President Obama believes that he can get an immigration bill in the second term because Republicans will need to gain support from the Hispanic community.
Back in 2009, President Obama called for comprehensive immigration reform, but it received little drive from the White House and never ended up going anywhere. He claims that this is because the economic crisis was the main priority at the time. In response to Congressional Republicans blocking the DREAM Act, the president also announced in 2009 that his administration would establish a similar stopgap policy to allow undocumented immigrants to work in the US.
Some critics believe that for the past four years President Obama has taken the Hispanic community for granted. The new bill in his second term would tighten border enforcement and provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.