President Barack Obama continues making his sales pitch for his executive actions on immigrationthis time he is doing so in his hometown of Chicago.
Obama on Tuesday will travel to Chicago, where he once worked as a community organizer. He will meet with immigration advocates as he seeks to boost support for the executive actions he has taken to fix as much of the nations broken immigration system as he can on his own.
The actions include allowing millions of undocumented immigrants to stay and work in the United States. It also includes expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to benefit more people and making it easier for entrepreneurs and recent graduates in science and technology to stay in the U.S.
The president will meet with immigration advocates at the Copernicus Community Center, which has a history of serving Chicagos large Polish population. By visiting the center, Obama may be attempting to show that immigration is not just an issue that affects Latinos.
Im from Chicago, and weve got some Irish immigrants whose papers arent in order, Obama said during a speech last week in Las Vegas. Weve got some Polish immigrants whose papers are not in order. Weve got some Ukrainian folks. Down in Florida weve got some Haitian folks. This is not just a Latino issue, this is an American issue.
The trip to Chicago is part of an ongoing effort by the president to defend and build support for his executive actions on immigration. He first announced his executive actions in a televised speech from the White House last Thursday night. The next day, he traveled to Las Vegas to explain why he bypassed Congress and acted on immigration.
The presidents trip comes as Republicans in Congress, whove gone home for the Thanksgiving break, argue that Obama is exceeding his powers by bypassing Congress and taking executive action on immigration. They also argue that with his actions, the president chose to deliberately sabotage any chance of enacting a bipartisan immigration reform bill.
But in Chicago, Obama will make the case that the executive actions he has taken on immigration are within his legal authority.
The president will also focus much of his time talking about the role immigrants have played in creating businesses and jobs. He will also draw attention to how his executive actions will have a positive impact on the U.S. economy.
According to a new analysis by the Obamas Council of Economic Advisers, the presidents immigration executive actions is expected to boost the gross domestic product between $90 billion and $210 billion over the next decade. Wages for native workers will also increase by 0.3 percent and the countrys tax base will also expand, according to the analysis.
Individuals potentially eligible for deferred action under the Presidents executive actions are in the country today, but roughly two-thirds of them dont pay taxes and the President is changing that by ensuring that both workers and employers will be able to come out from the shadows and contribute payroll taxes, just like all American citizens, a White House official said.
The last point Obama will make in his trip to Chicago is that his executive actions are only the first step and that it is now up to Congress to finish the job. He will also vow to continue working with members of Congress to come up with a bipartisan immigration reform billlike the one approved in the Senate a year agothat can replace his executive actions and fix the entire system.