WASHINGTON — President Obama vowed at a White House Cinco de Mayo reception to keep pushing for comprehensive immigration reform even after he’s no longer a resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Obama boasted at the East Room event that “we ensured that more than 700,000 DREAMers have the opportunity to reach their potential” — referring to his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
“Together, we continue to fight to fix our broken immigration system. The fact that we weren’t able to get it through Congress has been one of the most frustrating aspects of my presidency. But our ability to take actions within my legal authority to make our immigration system fairer and smarter and more just I continue to believe are going to help pave the way for us to finally get the law passed through the next Congress,” he said.
“And I got to tell you, I’m going to keep on working on this not just as president, but as a citizen — once I’m leaving here — because I think it’s one of the most important things we can get done.”
Obama predicted “we’re going to have to have some historic turnout rates come November.”
“It’s always possible to bring about the change we hope for as long as good people are willing to work together and remain committed — willing to march and organize and vote and educate our friends and our families and our neighbors, and tell the stories of all the incredible people who have contributed to this great nation of ours who are immigrants, who came from some other places, but ended up weaving their stories together with people from all around the globe to make this unique country we call America,” he continued.
Obama was introduced by Yanely Gonzalez, a Mexican-American who is a citizen but whose parents are not. She said she’s looking forward to voting for the first time in November.
As the crowd chanted “four more year,” Obama replied, “In addition to the Constitution, Michelle will not allow that.”