After riffing about making it brief so people could get back to their tequila, President Obama used Cinco de Mayo to call for immigration reform, saying Congress needs to do their job.
To make the point, the President quoted FDR, “As one of my predecessors, Franklin Roosevelt once said, “Remember, always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.” Immigrants and revolutionists. Now, that’s not the story of looking backwards; that’s the story of looking forward.”
Watch here via the Washington Post:
President Obama opened with some lighthearted riffing, “Buenas tardes. Bienvenidos a la Casa Blanca — su casa tambien. And Happy Cinco de Mayo. I know there are tacos and churros and Margaritas –” The audience was laughing and an audience member shouted out, “Tequila!”
The President took that in stride, “Tequila. So I’m going to be brief. I’ll let you get back to the tequila. She sounded very excited about that.”
After a brief recollection of the history of Cinco de Mayo, the President made the connection to the need for immigration reform, “So this holiday is an opportunity to remember how deeply Mexican-American culture is woven into the fabric of this country.”
Obama continued, “So we reaffirm our commitment to those traditions, and part of the way we reaffirm it is to reaffirm our commitment to comprehensive immigration reform, because that’s who we are as a country… And part of what built it was the incredible power of our immigrant communities. Our prosperity, our security demands comprehensive immigration reform.”
“That’s the reason I took the actions I did last fall — within my legal authority — to make our immigration system fairer and smarter and more just,” President Obama said, and then he hit Congress with their failure to do anything, “That’s why Congress still needs to step up and ultimately pass comprehensive immigration reform.”
The President said progress is not always a straight line, but “As one of my predecessors, Franklin Roosevelt once said, ‘Remember, always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.’ Immigrants and revolutionists. Now, that’s not the story of looking backwards; that’s the story of looking forward. That’s what we’re doing today. And that’s why I’m so glad that all of you are joining us.”
Obama closed with more lighthearted banter, “So with that, viva los Estados Unidos. Viva Mexico. Feliz Cinco de Mayo. And go easy on the tequila. Muchas gracias, everybody.”
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
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