Obama Says His Biggest Mistake Is Failing To Enact Immigration Reform [VIDEO]

   on September 22 2012 3:40 PM
President Barack Obama Hispanic Convention
President Barack Obama. Reuters

As any job applicant knows, the toughest question to answer in an interview is “What’s your biggest weakness?”

During an interview with Univision earlier this week, President Barack Obama, who's in the midst of a campaign that’s essentially one giant job interview with the American people, said that he considers his biggest weakness to be his administration’s failure to enact new immigration policies.

“My biggest failure so far is that we haven’t gotten comprehensive immigration reform done, so we’re going to be continuing to work on that,” Obama said. “But it’s not for a lack of trying or desire, and I’m confident we’re going to accomplish that.”

The president’s answer was met with applause from the audience of Latinos. The interview took place at a forum at the University of Miami.

Obama also admitted that the immigration promises he made in 2008 that helped propel him to the Oval Office were not on the top of his to-do list when he assumed the presidency.

“When we talked about immigration reform in the first year, that was before the economy was on the verge of collapse. Lehman Brothers had collapsed, the stock market was collapsing. So my first priority was making sure we didn’t fall into a depression.”

Obama’s discussion Thursday followed a “Univision” interview with Republican nominee Mitt Romney that took place the day before. Despite having family in Mexico, Romney has struggled to make himself more appealing to Hispanic voters, a demographic that’s being seen as a major factor in the upcoming election.

The president told interviewers Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas that despite his failure to fix immigration, he’s still the man for the job.

"The candidate sitting here with you today is committed to comprehensive immigration reform, is committed to the Dream Act, has taken administrative action to prevent young people from being deported," Obama said of himself before alluding to Romney.

"That stands in contrast with the other candidate, who has said he would veto the Dream Act, he is uncertain about what his plan for immigration reform would be, and who considers the Arizona law a model for the nation and has suggested that the main solution for immigration is self-deportation."

The Dream Act is popular among Latino voters because it allows illegal immigrants who have exemplified a solid background to stay in the U.S. Graduating from a U.S. high school and living in America for at least five years before the Dream Act became law are just two of the law's qualifications that praised by Latinos.  

The Huffington Post reports that when Romney mentioned his immigration ideas, which include the plan to encourage immigrants to leave the U.S. by making life so difficult they’d “self-deport,” they "jeered."  That policy has been criticized as inhumane and unrealistic.

 

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