Immigration and the Fourth of July
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As the nation prepares to celebrate the Fourth of July, President Obama has called for immigration reform. Did yesterday's speech contain anything new? Will it unify a polarized nation or further divide it? Also, new job growth remains elusive, and the President, Emma Lazarus and the Statue of Liberty.
Banner image: President Barack Obama speaks about comprehensive immigration reform during a speech at American University School of International Service in Washington, DC, July 1, 2010. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
New Job Growth Remains Elusive ()
Private employers added 83,000 jobs last month — more than double the rate in May, and unemployment dropped from 9.7% to 9.5%. But it was not good enough for the President or a lot of economic analysts. Heidi Shierholtz is a labor market economist with the Economic Policy Institute.
- Heidi Shierholz: Labor Market Economist, Economic Policy Institute
Immigration and the Fourth of July ()
In the aftermath of Arizona's new immigration law, with the prospect of other states passing similar crackdowns, President Obama has made an impassioned plea for comprehensive immigration reform, although there's no chance of action before November's elections. Transparently courting the votes of Hispanics, he bashed the Republicans. But he also addressed all sides of an issue that is polarizing the nation. He wants accountability for the federal government's failures, the greed of employers and the lawbreaking by undocumented workers. Will his speech help resolve differences or make them worse? Will it stop other states from going the way of Arizona?
- Alex Wagner: White House Correspondent, Politics Daily
- Arturo Vargas: Executive Director, National Organization of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, @ArturoNALEO
- Steven Camarota: Director of Research, Center for Immigration Studies, @wwwCISorg
- Tamar Jacoby: President, ImmigrationWorks USA, @tamarjacoby
Emma Lazarus and the Statue of Liberty ()
Speaking on immigration reform yesterday, President Obama invoked the Statue of Liberty and Emma Lazarus, whose famous poem beckons immigrants to American shores. Lazarus' Jewish family fled persecution in Europe and she crusaded for better healthcare and housing for immigrants to the US. The President said she donated work to pay for the statue, which he said, "was funded in part by small donations from people across America…" Barry Moreno is librarian and historian at the Statue of Liberty National Monument and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.
- Barry Moreno: Librarian and Historian, Statue of Liberty National Monument
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