“I know that a lot of you would rather be watching tonight’s game,” President Obama said this evening to a crowd assembled at the White House Rose Garden for a Cinco de Mayo celebration. “The Spurs against Los Suns from Phoenix.”
The Phoenix Suns are calling themselves Los Suns today in honor of the celebration, with the owner of the team blasting the immigration reform law in their home state, Arizona.
He wasn’t the only one, of course. The president this evening said that “America’s diversity is America’s strength,” and said “that is why I spoke out against the recently passed law in Arizona.”
“Make no mistake our immigration system is broken and after so many years in which Washington failed to meet its responsibilities Americans are right to be frustrated, including folks along border states.”
But that said, he added that the answer is not the “undermine fundamental principals” that define the nation like in Arizona.
“We can’t start singling out people because of who they look like, or how they talk or how they dress. We can’t turn law abiding American citizens and law abiding immigrants into subjects of suspicion and abuse. We can’t divide the American people that way. That’s not the answer, that’s not who we are as the United State of America."
Correcting any impression that he isn’t committed to comprehensive immigration reform, the president pledged “to begin work this year” on legislation.
“I want to begin work this year, and I want Democrats and Republicans to work with me. Because we’ve got to stay true to who we are. A nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.”
The president warned that the road ahead will be tough.
“Anybody who tells you it’s going to be easy or that I can wave a magic wand to make it happen hasn’t been paying attention to how this town works. We need bipartisan support but it can be done and it needs to be done."