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After touting its many benefits, President Obama uses this week's radio address to call on Congress to pass commonsense immigration reform:

We can do this, because we are a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants; a place enriched by the contributions of people from all over the world, and stronger for it. That’s been the story of America from the start. Let’s keep it going.

And while noting the many reasons why such a bill needs to be passed—a pathway for 11 million people already in this country to become citizens, sound economics, better security and even "strengthen[ing] the long-term health and solvency of Social Security for future generations"—the president acknowledges that the bill is not perfect and that:

It’s a compromise. Nobody is going to get everything they want – not Democrats, not Republicans, not me. But it’s consistent with the principles that I and others have laid out for commonsense reform. That’s why Republicans and Democrats, CEOs and labor leaders, are saying that now is the time to pass this bill. If you agree with us, reach out to your Senators and Representatives. Tell them that the time for excuses is over; it’s time to fix our broken immigration system once and for all.

It's more of a step than a fix and odds are it'll die in the House, but if you want that first step to be taken, call or write your representatives in Washington.

Complete transcript below the fold.

Hi everybody. Right now, the United States Senate is debating a bipartisan, commonsense bill that would be an important step toward fixing our broken immigration system.

It’s a bill that would continue to strengthen security at our borders, and hold employers more accountable if they knowingly hire undocumented workers, so they won’t have an unfair advantage over businesses that follow the law.

It’s a bill that would modernize the legal immigration system so that, as we train American workers for the jobs of tomorrow, we’re also attracting the highly skilled entrepreneurs and engineers who grow our economy for everyone.

It’s a bill that would provide a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million individuals who are in this country illegally – a pathway that includes passing a background check, learning English, paying taxes and a penalty, then going to the back of the line behind everyone trying to come here legally.

And, a few days ago, a report from the Congressional Budget Office definitively showed that this bipartisan, commonsense bill will help the middle class grow our economy and shrink our deficits, by making sure that every worker in America plays by the same set of rules and pays taxes like everyone else.

According to this independent report, reforming our immigration system would reduce our deficits by almost a trillion dollars over the next two decades. And it will boost our economy by more than 5 percent, in part because of businesses created, investments made, and technologies invented by immigrants.

This comes on the heels of another report from the independent office that monitors Social Security’s finances, which says that this immigration bill would actually strengthen the long-term health and solvency of Social Security for future generations.

Because with this bill, millions of additional people will start paying more in taxes for things like Social Security and education. That’ll make the economy fairer for middle-class families.

So that’s what comprehensive immigration reform looks like. Stronger enforcement. A smarter legal immigration system. A pathway to earned citizenship. A more vibrant, growing economy that’s fairer on the middle class. And a more stable fiscal future for our kids.

Now, the bill isn’t perfect. It’s a compromise. Nobody is going to get everything they want – not Democrats, not Republicans, not me. But it’s consistent with the principles that I and others have laid out for commonsense reform. That’s why Republicans and Democrats, CEOs and labor leaders, are saying that now is the time to pass this bill. If you agree with us, reach out to your Senators and Representatives. Tell them that the time for excuses is over; it’s time to fix our broken immigration system once and for all.

We can do this, because we are a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants; a place enriched by the contributions of people from all over the world, and stronger for it. That’s been the story of America from the start. Let’s keep it going. Thanks, and have a great weekend.

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Comment Preferences

  •  "common sense" has lost all meaning (12+ / 0-)

    The phrase "common sense" has lost all possible meaning as it is used by everyone to describe anything they support.

    For GOPers transvaginal probes are "common sense" health precautions.

    We should all stop using the term "common sense" at least until it has some meaning. I do not think it moves anyone in the direction speakers intend. I know when I hear "common sense" I prepare myself mentally for a stream of bullsh*t. That does not always ensue, for instance it does not in this diary, but is a reason to reach for other terms. "Sensible", "reasonable", "practical", "effective and achievable". Whatever. Anything but "common sense".

    •  speaking for myself, an immigration plan that (4+ / 0-)

      takes over a decade, costs a fortune, and probably won't be completed by many people even if they don't die of old age first, is not a "common sense" plan.

      The bill certainly is good for bashing the gopper lunatics over the head with it (which, since it won't pass the House anyway, is its only utility), but it's not a serious immigration reform.  As usual, we've pre-surrendered it to nothing--and won't get the gopper votes anyway.

      •  I keep finding more and more .... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        maryabein, dfong63

        reasons to oppose both this and the Farm Bill that just went down.  These "horses" made by committee into camels, or worse into monsters, are not just steps in the right direction, but Trojan Horses (or Trojan camels.)  The amendments would stay around forever. We need cleaner bills!!

        Start over again after we have a more reasonable Congress, if that ever happens!  It may be a shorter wait for immigrants anyway.

    •  I was just going to make that comment myself (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maryabein

      "Commonsense" is a vapid term that means nothing.  It is all too often used as a rhetorical device to avoid debate.  Why debate a policy if it's just "common sense," right?  No decent person could possibly oppose "common sense" because it is something that exists outside of the realm of reasoned debate.  It just simply is.  It needs no discussion, no actual defense; we must accept it as given.

      As I see it, policies stem from a mix of the empirical (facts) and the normative (priorities).  For the former, you have raw numbers, which alone mean nothing.  But with that raw empirical data, you use values and priorities to extrapolate policy conclusions.  Politics, at its best, consists of debate over the facts by people with different priorities but not overly divergent principles.  However, politics today more oft than not does not even have facts; it consists of specific priorities and moral visions disguised as "commons sense."

  •  Conservative definition of common sense sucks (6+ / 0-)

    Which is demonstrated EVERY single time Louie Gohmert opens his mouth, along with Bachmann, Sessions, Cornyn and the entire crop of conservatives in Congress.

  •  Johnny "Butthead" Boehner (5+ / 0-)

    knows it's a no-win. Whichever way he jumps, he is going to have to pay a stiff political price on this one.

    By golly, it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 07:18:00 AM PDT

  •  Goopers should prolly opt for a trainwreck in the (2+ / 0-)

    senate rather than the house.....cause the senate is STILL the lesser joke.

  •  What about H1B Visa abuse? (5+ / 0-)

    That particular issue hasn't even been addressed.

    In a diary yesterday, I uncovered some information about a charter school corporation in Ohio and other midwestern states that has been using H1B visas to bring school teachers from Turkey to avoid paying living wages to local teachers.

    Here's a link to an Ohio education group's web site featuring an analysis of this corporation's H1B visa abuse at taxpayer funded charter schools, including a table showing the number of these visas used to displace local educators.

    Link

    While the problems with H1B visa abuse have been clearly demonstrated in the fields of IT and STEM workers, we also need to add the ramifications of allowing this abuse to be inflicted upon the teaching profession in primary and secondary education.

    It's no secret the administration and Wall Street are making a strong push for charter schools.  The tax perks have been reinstated and the investment sharks on Wall Street are primed.  I see no reason why the US should underwrite even greater profits for the charter school industry while decimating the teaching profession.

    No.  Unless h1B visa expansion has been removed from the Immigration Bill I'll remain firmly opposed to it.  

    Disclaimer: I'm not a teacher nor is anyone in my family.  I just think this is the wrong direction for the US to take and that our government should not be in the business of subsidizing foreign guest workers at the expense of US educators.

    "If you can't take their money, eat their food, drink their booze and then vote against them, you have no business being in DC."

    by Betty Pinson on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 07:41:09 AM PDT

    •  The Gulen school movement is a disaster (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SueDe, maryabein, WheninRome

      These Turkish schools run by a reclusive billionaire abuse the H-1B system to bring in English teachers from Turkey.

      Yep, the English teachers in these schools are native Turkish speakers.

      We have thousands of unemployed teachers who are being displaced by these charter schools. And why? MORE IMPORTANTLY, HOW?? The H-1B system is how.

      The visa abuses in these schools are disgusting.

      However, the entire H-1B system is cheating OUR OWN CHILDREN of jobs. We do not have a STEM shortage. What we have a shortage of cheap ass scab labor. That's what is supplied by the H-1B system.

      This immigration bill is a disaster, on every front, for every American worker.

      •  How can Obama push this bill (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WorkerInUSA, maryabein, WheninRome

        when he knows how badly it could decimate the teaching profession in the US?

        This makes no sense at all.  None.  But I have a feeling this is why some folks were pushing so hard for the expansion of H1B visas is for charter school expansion.

        Race to the bottom in public education, who would have thought a Dem POTUS could support that?

        "If you can't take their money, eat their food, drink their booze and then vote against them, you have no business being in DC."

        by Betty Pinson on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 08:14:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The job visa situation (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          maryabein, WheninRome

          is a disaster for American workers, top to bottom.

          This bill will double H-1b counts immediately, and allow them to go much higher. Many idiots say that our economy has 150 million workers, so why are we worried about a small number? The issue is that in certain areas H-1Bs have entirely driven out Americans.

          We issued 500,000 J-1 visas every summer, so that foreign kids can come here and work in sweatshops for less than minimum wage. AND WE GIVE THE EMPLOYERS TAX BREAKS!! Why do we allow McDonald's operators to bring in workers from Malaysia and pay under minimum wage?

          I cannot understand why "progressives" and "democrats" are stabbing their own children in the back with this dreadful bill.

          Obama does not know shit about workers, honestly. The wife of an unemployed engineer in Houston, TX confronted him with the H-1B situation, and he said that her husband certainly should be able to get a job. That was 2 years ago, and he is still unemployed.

          The H-1B system is a national suicide pact. In India, laws require Indians to be employed. Also in American - laws require Indians to be employed here, too. Isn't that wonderful? What kind of a country has more doctors who are not native than are native? What about American kids who want to be doctors?

          •  There are hundreds, if not thousands, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            WorkerInUSA

            of law firms across the country that advertise to help STEM workers come into this country.  This is just one of such websites offering immigration assistance, this one in California:

            If you are a STEM worker interested in living in the United States either temporarily or permanently, contact the Law Office of Vaughan de Kirby to speak with an experienced immigration attorney. Located in San Francisco, we help businesses and individuals with U.S. visa and green card applications and immigration issues around the world.

            "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

            by SueDe on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 10:23:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  These vampire immigration attorneys (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              WheninRome

              make money by depriving US citizens of jobs. Every jobs occupied by an H-1B is a job that is taken away from an American citizen. It's an entire industry of economic traitors, making millions of dollars by removing US citizens from jobs.

              And those stories of US workers having to train their replacement H-1B scabs? True.

  •  As long as we kowtow locally, abuses (0+ / 0-)

    that benefit corporations will continue.  Getting the word out on teachers being imported is good.  Getting teaching to be a noble and worthwhile profession is better.

    We have an excellent charter school here which underpays it's local teachers because of budget issues.  It's Texas, teachers are suspect.  

    Until we take back legislatures and the House we're left with nothing but complaining.  Texas is doing a lot to change things in our state, and the Perry/Lege idiocy will make that much easier.  

    Instead of holding out for something ideal I'd suggest we start loving our Blue Dogs, tolerating being a center leftish country, and stop hollering at people who walk on our lawn with the wrong color shoes.  

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 07:53:57 AM PDT

  •  Billions more for "border security" (3+ / 0-)

    The police state just keeps growing...

    I didn't abandon the fight, I abandoned the Party that abandoned the fight...

    by Jazzenterprises on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 08:41:07 AM PDT

  •  Obama's full of it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bmeis

    13 years to become a citizen? But if you're already here you have to get to the back of the line and pay fines?

    We should just process everybody who wants to be a citizen that is here first, weed out the criminals and scrap the H1B program. And there shouldn't be fines, maybe small fees for civics and English classes.

    We don't need any more highly skilled entrepreneurs or skilled people to cut ahead, we have enough citizens that are highly skilled and out of work. How about getting all those citizens who park their money offshore to bring it back and tax the everloving crap out of it?

    Common sense my ass.

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