Last Updated:September 19 @ 10:49 pm

Pander: 'These are all our kids'

By Jim Kuhnhenn

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) - President Barack Obama, in a strikingly personal appeal, renewed his call for an overhaul of America's immigration laws before a supportive Latino audience Friday. He portrayed rival Mitt Romney as an obstacle to measures that would give young illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.

"These are all our kids," he declared.

To a standing ovation, Obama spoke of his directive last week that immigrants brought illegally to the United States as children be exempted from deportation and granted work permits if they applied.

Reflecting on his own life as the first African-American president, he said: "When I meet these young people, all throughout communities, I see myself. Who knows what they might achieve? I see my daughters, and my nieces, and my nephews."

"That's the promise that draws so many talented, driven people to these shores. That's the promise that drew my own father here," said Obama, whose father was Kenyan.

Obama spoke to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, gathered on the sprawling grounds of Disney World, his first speech to a Hispanic group since he announced the new deportation policy. Romney spoke to the group on Thursday, underscoring the importance of the growing Hispanic vote and the influence it could have this election year in swing states from Nevada to Colorado to Florida to Virginia.

Obama's address also illustrated his own challenge in meeting an earlier campaign pledge.

Four years ago, before the same Latino leaders group, Obama vowed to make changing the nation's immigration system and taking steps to legalize millions of illegal immigrants a priority he would "pursue from my very first day."

Though hardly single-minded in their approach to politics, most Hispanics have been voting Democratic in recent elections. Obama has risked losing some support in part because Hispanics have been hard hit by the weak economy. What's more, Latino leaders have also grown frustrated with Obama because he failed to deliver on his 2008 pledge and because his administration was deporting illegal immigrants in record numbers.

On Friday, Obama blamed the lack of broader changes on Republicans who once supported adjustments to immigration law and "have been driven away from the table by a small faction of their own party."

He noted that Romney during the Republican primaries said he would veto legislation, known as the DREAM Act, that would give a path to citizenship to young immigrants who came to the United States illegally as children but have since attended school or served in the military.

"He has promised to veto the DREAM Act and we should take him at his word," he said,

It was lack of action on the DREAM Act - the Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act - that led him to take the administrative steps he did last week to defer deportation for some young illegal immigrants and give them work permits instead, he said.

"It falls short of where we need to be, a path to citizenship," he said. "It's not a permanent fix. It's a temporary measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while offering some justice to these young people."

The directive could benefit anywhere between 800,000 to 1.4 million immigrants. On Friday, the Department of Homeland Security said it has found 823 cases in the backlog of deportation cases that will qualify for closure under Obama's new rule, making them eligible for work permits. The department said it expects to identify thousands more cases in the coming weeks.

Romney on Thursday assailed Obama's action as merely a "stopgap measure" in his own speech to the association, backing off the tough anti-illegal immigration rhetoric of the Republican primaries. He promised to address illegal immigration "in a civil but resolute manner."

Obama spoke about two hours after Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who has been promoting a plan that would have dealt with young illegal immigrants in a similar fashion to what Obama accomplished administratively.

Rubio, a possible running mate for Romney, said the issue had been politicized and neither side wanted to solve it because it was a more powerful political tool if left to fester.

"I was accused of supporting apartheid," Rubio said. "I was accused of supporting a DREAM Act without a dream. Of course, a few months later the president takes a similar idea and implements it through executive action and now it's the greatest idea in the world."

Rubio said, "This issue is all about politics to some people. Not just Democrats, Republicans." Romney has said he was studying Rubio's proposal but has not endorsed it.

Obama tailored his usual economic message to Hispanic voters, saying he would build up-middle class opportunity for Latinos while Romney would hurt it with "top-down economics" favoring the rich.

Romney's camp responded Friday by issuing statements from a number of prominent Hispanic leaders who said Obama's economic policies would hurt Hispanic businesses. In one typical reaction, Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida said Obama was changing the subject to avoid having to discuss the economy.

"The Hispanic community values entrepreneurship and family-owned businesses, and we deserve a leader in Washington who is dedicated to creating an environment where our values, our goals and our dreams of prosperity can become reality," he said.

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Associated Press writers Brendan Farrington in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and Alicia Caldwell and Ken Thomas in Washington contributed to this report.

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16 Comments

  1. Wayne DuttenhaverComment by Wayne Duttenhaver
    June 23, 2012 @ 11:44 am

    What new can Obama do to disgrace the office that he lied himself into?

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  2. lwessonComment by lwesson
    June 23, 2012 @ 11:58 am

    I am watching Mitt Romney, following the pandering slip & slide. He cannot pander enough, cannot out pander the Demopander Party, to gain any significant % of Hispanic vote, and will actually do more harm than good for votes with his base constituents.

    It is simple math. Very simple math. Of the Hispanics that do vote, a small percent, gaining some % points gains you a small increase in votes. But the Media, NEVER points this out. They want the replacement of We the People.

    Think of it as Small Pie, vs Big Pie. Now of the Big Pie, if you alienate the Big Pie, and loose just a % point or two, that is a huge number of voters, and money.

    Once you start pandering, then EVERY group will expect you to cater to their own special interests.

    Romney, do not follow the McCain route, and follow those loosers. Do what is best for The Republic. Say that. STOP all of the STUPID talk of letting in more people. We are full up. Unemployment & Underemployment is devastating. But no, go ahead, pour more cheeeeeap ALIEN people into the country. They will NOT reward you with thankful voters. They will irk those that would vote, and support you.

    The Republic Elite Power Players, are killing this Republic in their own special, power seeking, profiteering way. Funny, when someone as damaging as Obama is playing King, we know we are being screwed over. As soon as Obama is gone, the Power Players, will do as much damage, and nothing much is said.

    Romney, be the good Captain! We are sinking fast… Paul Ryan would make a fine First Mate who understands so much of the financial issues. Rubio, will just kick more holes in the hull…

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    • genesalComment by genesal
      June 23, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

      You got to remember that Romney alluded to people well established in this country, even though they were illegal, could stay. If he get’s together with Rubio I’m afraid the ‘dream act’ will be in fact, fact.

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    • lwessonComment by lwesson
      June 23, 2012 @ 12:19 pm

      You are so right genesal, sad to say.

      Rubio, has gone out of his way, to say arrogant things, like, he would come here illegally…, that, well, if Romney cannot see this stupid comment as hurting his base constituents, his election, it is over, if he wins or looses.

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      June 24, 2012 @ 9:47 am

      Yes, “”"These are all our kids”"” because we of the Democrat Party are all children in adult bodies who only live for the thrill of the immediate gratification the cost of which is always paid for by the real adults. Our ******* Wet “Dream Act” immigration policies are no exception.

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  3. vComment by v
    June 23, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

    They are not our children…they are Foreign Nationals born to two ILLEGAL ALIENS….born using the US WELFARE SYSTEM…and still continuing to suckup US TAXPAYER DOLLARS! They refuse to speak English…even though we pay Thousands more to Educate an ILLEGAL ALEIN than we pay to Educate a US CITIZEN…they are disruptive in class…are gang members…allow their children to tearup merchandise in stores…….They in NO Way are an Asset to the US!

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  4. vComment by v
    June 23, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

    Rubio has shown that HE Represents the Interest of Foreign Nationals and Illegal Aliens….He has choosen to Ignore what is in the Best Interest of Legal US Citizens! Most of us have been here for hundreds of years and we are being IGNORED! It’s Time To Take OUR COUNTRY BACK…..NO ONE has the Right to Enter the US unless WE INVITE THEM. And It’s Time to REMOVE the WELCOME MAT!….We have allowed too many Foreign Nationals into the US in too short a time. Approximately 7 Million since Obama took Office…they took my job and my friends next it will be yours or your childs JOB!

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    • genesalComment by genesal
      June 23, 2012 @ 12:33 pm

      You invite them in, give them time to acclimate, become Americans, then invite more. Efficient and organized.

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    • lwessonComment by lwesson
      June 23, 2012 @ 2:15 pm

      There is this assumption that given time, THEY, ah, acclimate. Just look at Rubio. He has had plenty of time, but he rather freely, like Linda Chavez, will proudly prattle on about Latino this and that, making exceptions, exclusions, with nary a care for their own, ethnic legacy. And Rubio, Chavez are the shiny showroom examples of so called assimilation.

      Getting lost in LA or many other cities, can get you lost in the breathing department. Have backpacked through Mexico some 25+ years ago, now, you can backpack through “Mexico”, without leaving the so called border of the US.

      My Grandfather, would not recognize the country. Born: 1906 He, like my Father, and myself, have been replaced by Aliens, in a mere span of some 45 years. Amazing. And the call, the screaming continues to remove all “locks, doors, windows, walls” to “our” National House, and maneuvers to insure that countless more come.

      The Founders, what would they think? NO ONE dares to ask this simple question. They established a Republic, for The People, not as some open portal for the World to tumble into.

      The French gave us the Statue of Liberty, projecting that the US was a shining example to the World, for Liberty. Forget the Lazarus poem as there is nothing that the Founders would agree with, in it.

      The other question is, is it too late? Is it acclimation, to a culture, an ethnic group, or is it now some kind of magical general lofty wonked out theoretical rhetoric? The media cheers wonk on. Many, if not all, in the Democrat Party are all too happy. And the stunning thing is, that there are far too many in power in the Republican Party, in on this as well.

      Time to call the Locksmith, Carpenter, and Security, before it is beyond the doubt, too late, for our Home.

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  5. vevaComment by veva
    June 23, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

    Romney, don’t pander! Speak to Hispanic citizens as what they are – Americans. And THEIR traditions are family values, responsibility, business people, and they vote conservative! Choose Chris Christie for a running mate. HE can fill the vacuum you need filled. He calls it as it is! He has fire and a real desire to keep America FREE!

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  6. Sheila SimmonsComment by Sheila Simmons
    June 23, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

    No, illegal alien kids are NOT “all our kids.” MY kids are NATURAL-BORN CITIZENS and MY kids obey the law. One of MY kids could legally run for President.

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  7. prairelivingComment by praireliving
    June 23, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

    While I understand the plight of people living in other countries and wanting to come to the USA I respectfully must say these are not “all our kids”. My father came to this country legally, my maternal great-grandparents came to this country legally, and my husbands Hispanic family all came to this country legally. When you reward illegal activity you just get more of it.

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  8. freedomfighterComment by freedomfighter
    June 23, 2012 @ 8:11 pm

    I am sorry, but these are NOT our kids to support.
    Isn’t it really ironic how something he said he would do in 2008, was not even attempted until just 6 months before his re-election bid?. Then he went around the people, the Constitution, and our own economy crisis, to dig up votes from the Latino community by illegally signing this bill into being.

    He has to know what a terrible strain this puts on our already sagging and near death Economy. He has to understand how the job market will dwindle for our own Citizens by giving possibly 1.4 million ILLEGALs immunity and work permits. This man is insane with power, and is so abusing his position, while the Dems sit back and smile as their fearless leader drives our own bus into a freeway overpass support column.
    This man has done absolutely nothing for our own Country since he took office, but just look at what he has done for others.
    Many of our own young people sleep in trash cans, rags, plastic bags, and donated coats and clothing at night, because their parents cannot find work, have lost their homes, and cannot even feed their own children. But, what does Nobama do, he gives special privilege to the Hispanic ILLEGAL young people, while our own get spit.
    It’s a damn shame we can have no respect for the man who sits in our Presidents chair, but, it is his own doings which put him at that disrespectful spot in our minds. He hates us, so what else could he expect, other than displeasure by us of what he does, and does not, do to our Country?.
    He not only hates us, he also hates our Country, our Flag, our Ideals, our Religions, and all that America once stood for until he stepped on our flag while entering the Whitehouse.
    does this not ring a heavy bell for all the American people to hear, and a record of nothing good for us to see?.

    If I did not know better according to the word of God, I would surely believe that this man is the Anti-Christ. I am quite sure, however, that we are definitely in the final days prophesied in the Word of God. I am sure this man is a beginning to an end.

    That said, I despise that I despise this man, as this is not what my God teaches me to do. I am to love my enemies, but
    With this person, I must declare that he is not only my enemy, but my Country, and my God, have been declared his enemy as well. This I cannot let go, so I will excise my right to despise what he stands for, and what he is, other than a human being.

    TAKE OUT THE TRASH IN NOVEMBER

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  9. sophillyjimmyComment by sophillyjimmy
    June 23, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

    Obama called Romney an obstacle to illegal immigrants, now if Obama put up an electrfied fence at the Mexican border that would have been an obstacle that We The People would appreciate, but since he didn’t keep your promise Romney and be the obstacle to keep these ilegal drones out of our country.

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  10. sophillyjimmyComment by sophillyjimmy
    June 23, 2012 @ 9:19 pm

    Typical answer from a ghetto black man, “These Are Our Kids” since none of them know who their real kids are and don’t take care about them once they come out of their mothers wombs.

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  11. van44Comment by van44
    June 24, 2012 @ 12:48 am

    As soon as the election is over 0bummer will forget about all us latino’s! He only wants our vote, he think’s we are all crazy mexican’s.

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