Thursday in Washington, DC, at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute conference, President Barack Obama, without mentioning Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, urged the audience to “push back against bluster and falsehoods and promises of higher walls.”
Obama said, “We’re going to have to push back against bluster and falsehoods and promises of higher walls. We need a comprehensive solution that works for our families and our businesses, that grows our economy, that enhances our culture. We need an approach that upholds immigrants and a nation of laws. And it is possible to do that. It’s possible to insist on a lawful and orderly system while still seeing students and their hardworking parents not as criminals, not as rapists, but as families who came here for the same reasons that all immigrants came here—to work and to learn and to build a better life. And look, throughout this political season, you know, the talk around these issues has cut deeper than in years past. It’s a little more personal, it’s a little meaner, little uglier, and folks are betting that if they can drive us far enough apart, and if they can put down enough of us because of where we come from or what we look like or what religion we practice, then that may pay off at the polls. But I’m telling you, that’s a bet they’re going to lose. We’ve seen this kind of ugliness and anger and vitriol before. That kind of politics sometimes may carry the day in the short term.
“I know that there are a lot of folks who had this notion of what the real America looks like and somehow it only includes a few of us. But who’s going to decide who the real America is? Who’s going to determine that in this nation of immigrants, in a nation where unless you are a native American, you came here from someplace else, that you have a greater claim than anybody here? So we can’t let that brand of politics win. And if we band together and if we organize our communities, if we deliver enough votes, then the better angels of our nature will carry the day and progress will happen. But it’s going to take all of us. This is not something that a president can do alone. It’s not something the next president will be able to do alone, either, no matter how tough she is.”
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