President Obama’s second State of the Union Address was anticipated by many, especially by the immigrant hopefuls currently living in the United States. They anxiously waited and listened to what policies will President Obama highlight and emphasize in his speech.
Here are the highlights of the speech:
- Job Creation
He emphasized that included in his economic recovery plan is the creation of “good” jobs for middle class: “How do we attract more jobs to our shores? How do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs? And how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?”
He further reiterated that his administration’s first priority in creating jobs is to make “America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing.”
- Decrease Budget Deficit
He strongly proposed for a “Comprehensive Tax Reform” that will provide “FAIR” Share, which will remove “tax loopholes and deductions for the wealthy. This will prevent further budget cuts from education, healthcare, and energy; and will help small business in filing taxes easily by filling out less complicated form which gives them more time to expand and hire.
- Energy Sufficient and Renewable Energy
He pointed out that after years of debate and study, the U.S. is now able to control its own energy future by having the capacity to produce more oil, renewable energy from sources like wind and solar, and natural gas.
- “Fix-It-First” Program
He proposed a “Partnership to Rebuild America” by providing jobs related to the country’s infrastructure repairs and improvement such as improving bridges, modern ports for trading goods, modern pipelines that can withstand natural disasters, and modern schools; to emphasize that “there is no better place to do business than the United States of America.”
The President proposed a better but more affordable education system for middle-class families. The American education system needs to provide “high-quality early education” which can save parents more money in the future by higher graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, and reducing violent crime.
President Obama highlighted that the US will have a stronger economy when we encourage and gather “talents and ingenuity of striving, hopeful immigrants.” He emphasized that business leaders, labor, law enforcement, and faith communities share the same stand as the president- all in favor of a comprehensive immigration reform.
He reiterated the following pillars of the proposed comprehensive immigration reform:
- Responsible pathway to citizenship which requires immigrant hopefuls to (a) pass background check, (b) pay taxes and a meaningful penalty, (c) learning English, and (d) going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally.
- Strengthen border security
- Fix legal immigration system to shorten waiting periods, reduce bureaucracy, and attract the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers.