(MEXICO CITY) — Speaking from Mexico City, President Obama uses his weekly address to underscore the message he touted in Mexico and Costa Rica this week about the need to reform the U.S. immigration system and boost trade with Latin America.
“I’m here because Latin America represents an incredible opportunity for the United States, especially when it comes to my top priority as President: creating good, middle-class jobs,” the president says of his trip to Latin America this week.
With over 40 percent of U.S. exports going to the Americas, President Obama stressed how important it is to work with leaders to “deepen our economic ties and expand trade between our nations.”
President Obama also speaks directly in his address about the need to reform immigration. Illegal border crossings are down by nearly 80 percent from 2000, but there’s more work to do, he says.
“In recent weeks, we’ve seen a commonsense immigration reform bill introduced in the Senate. This bill is a compromise, which means that nobody got everything they wanted – including me. But it’s largely consistent with the principles I’ve laid out from the beginning,” President Obama says.
The bill, he says, would strengthen border security and hold employers more accountable for knowingly hiring undocumented workers; provide a pathway to earned citizenship for the millions already in the U.S. illegally; and modernize the U.S. immigration system to help reunite families and attract skilled entrepreneurs and engineers to help create jobs.
“These are all commonsense steps that the majority of Americans support. So there’s no reason that immigration reform can’t become a reality this year,” he says.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Phil Mattingly, Tom LoBianco and David Mark, CNN