Obama Is Very Confident About Immigration Reform

In Mexico, Obama goes off script to raise expectations that comprehensive reform will pass “this year.”

WASHINGTON — After a week of chatter about the limits of his power, President Obama told the people of Mexico Friday he has the juice to get immigration reform passed this year.

Obama said he was not only “convinced” bipartisan immigration reform will happen, he said he was “absolutely convinced of it.” His confidence on stage went farther than his prepared remarks did — a version of the speech sent to reporters ahead of delivery didn’t contain one instance of the word “convinced,” let alone two.

Instead, the prepared version hedged things quite a bit. Obama’s remarks said when it came to comprehensive reform containing a pathway to citizenship, the president was “optimistic that—after years of trying—we’re finally going to get this done.” But the prepared speech set no timeframe for completing reform, a huge part of the Obama’s second term agenda.

When Obama delivered the remarks, however, a time frame was added.

“I’m working with our Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform this year,” Obama said. “I’m convinced we can get it done.”

Below are the two versions of Obama’s remarks on immigration reform, the first from the prepared speech and the second from the delivered speech.

3. Prepared Remarks


“That’s one of the reasons I acted to lift the shadow of deportation from DREAMers—young people brought to the United States as children. And that’s why I’m working with our Congress to pass common sense immigration reform. Reform that continues to strengthen border security and strengthen legal immigration, so citizens don’t have to wait years to bring their family to the United States. Reform that holds everyone accountable— so immigrants get on the right side of the law and so immigrants are not exploited and abused. Most of all, reform that gives millions of undocumented individuals a pathway to earn their citizenship. And I’m optimistic that—after years of trying—we’re finally going to get this done.”

4. Delivered Remarks


“That’s one of the reasons I acted to lift the shadow of deportation from what we call the DREAMers—young people brought to the United States as children. And that’s why I’m working with our Congress to pass common sense immigration reform this year. I’m convinced we can get it done. Reform that continues to strengthen border security and strengthen legal immigration, so citizens don’t have to wait years to bring their families to the United States. Reform that holds everyone accountable— so immigrants get on the right side of the law and so immigrants are not exploited and abused. Most of all, reform that gives millions of undocumented individuals a pathway to earn their citizenship. And I’m optimistic that—after years of trying, we are going to get it done this year. I’m absolutely convinced of it.

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