During President Barack Obama’s victory speech Tuesday night he briefly spoke about the “dreams of an immigrant’s daughter,” perhaps alluding to a select number of undocumented sons and daughters in the country who could have a path to citizenship with the DREAM Act.
“We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag, to the young boy on the south side of Chicago who sees a life beyond the nearest street corner, to the furniture worker’s child in North Carolina who wants to become a doctor or a scientist, an engineer or an entrepreneur, a diplomat or even a president,” Obama said during his victory party in Chicago in the early hours of Wednesday.
Insiders say it’s safe to assume he was speaking about DREAMers but note Obama didn’t get to that position on his own.
“Obama was very clearly referencing the immigrant youth who he’s supported with his backing of the DREAM Act and deferred action,” said Julianne Hing, Colorlines.com immigration reporter. “But it should be noted that his support came largely because immigrant youth have put his feet to the fire and relentlessly demanded more humane treatment of undocumented youth and their families.”
But while Obama has been open about letting young undocumented people with “good moral character” have a path to citizenship, his administration has deported an unprecedented number of immigrants.
“We are hopeful that in his second term-when he no longer has to worry about re-election-that the President will be in a better position to advance a national and international agenda that represents the interests of the majority,” read a statement from PresenteAction, the largest online latino advocacy group.
“Millions of Latinos supported the President in his re-election with the very clear expectation that he will expand the use of his executive authority to provide relief to the millions of other immigrants facing a difficult situation because of initiatives like the SCOMM program, which many of us want the President to either fundamentally alter or abolish altogether because of the documented pain, discrimination and fear caused by this program. While it’s clear that the President must exert real leadership on a congressional solution on immigration reform, we expect the President to act immediately to stop the suffering of our families,” PresenteAction’s statement went on to say.