United States President Barack Obama’s Speech on Immigration
On Thursday, November 20th, 2014, United States President Barack Obama addressed the American public on the issue of immigration. In his speech, Obama discussed various procedures that he plans to put forward with regards to protections for illegal immigrants. As Al Jazeera explains, The centerpiece of the plan…will extend deportation relief to undocumented immigrants who have a U.S. citizen or legal resident child, for three years at a time. To be eligible, these immigrants must have lived in the United States for at least five years and go through an application process that includes passing a background check and paying taxes. But Obama’s executive action left out as many as seven million others who did not qualify.
This is an important development, as it provides the necessary protections for immigrant families to be able to stay together.
Issues of immigration are related to international relations. Domestic political alone affect a leader and in turn can shape foreign policy decisions. And in the case of the United States, both President Obama, as well as former President George W. Bush pushed for extensive immigration reform, although Bush was unable to get the necessary changes through. Domestic politics can be a point of contestation for leaders. In the case of Obama, “He said he had no choice but to go ahead — despite furious claims by Republicans he is subverting the Constitution and behaving more like a king than a weakened president hemmed in by a hostile Congress” (CNN, 2014).
Furthermore, Obama has been working with many other countries of which a number of the immigrants are initially from. It will be interesting to see how the United States continues to work with the immigrant families, as well as with other states in regards to Obama’s plans on immigration.