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Obama says he's ready to fix US immigration laws

May 4, 2012 11:00am

United States President Barack Obama told voters on Thursday that he was ready to sign a broad-based immigration fix, blaming his political rivals in Washington for blocking one of his major unmet campaign promises from 2008.

At a Cinco de Mayo reception he hosted at the White House, Obama said he would keep fighting for reforms to grant children of undocumented workers a path to US citizenship and address other problems with the country's complex immigration rules.

"'No' is not an option. I want to sign the DREAM Act into law. I've got the pens all ready," he told the Rose Garden event featuring margaritas and tacos held two days ahead of May 5, marked in the United States to celebrate Mexican culture.

"I'm willing to work with anybody who is serious to get this done and to achieve bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform to solve this challenge once and for all," he said.

Latino voters could be pivotal in the race for the White House on Nov. 6, particularly in battleground states like FloridaArizonaColorado and Virginia.

Obama, a Democrat, is polling ahead among Hispanics of the likely Republican contender Mitt Romney. But many Latinos are disappointed the president failed to deliver immigration reform so far and are upset about the high deportation numbers on his watch.

Last month, the president said he would tackle immigration reform right away in his second term if reelected.

Immigrant Rights Day

Meanwhile, according to a report of the news site Asian Week, on International Workers Day last Tuesday, the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) launched the Pulso ng ating mga Kababayan (Pulse of the People) education and research campaign.

The report said the campaign intends to document the views and experiences of Filipinos by conducting a nationwide survey. 

“NAFCON chose International Workers Day to launch this project because Filipino immigrants are one of the most undervalued and exploited groups of workers in the U.S. So on May 1st, the day when workers and migrants worldwide celebrate and advocate for their right to a dignified workplace and decent working conditions, NAFCON honors and highlights Filipino immigrants in the U.S.!” says Terry Valen, President of NAFCON.

Since its founding in 2003, NAFCON has defended the rights and welfare of Filipinos in the US. 

The report said there are about four million Filipinos in the US.

“Most Filipinos don’t want to leave the Philippines to find work because they do not want to leave their families and face horrible working conditions abroad. But the government prioritizes sending Filipinos overseas when it should prioritize creating jobs and livelihood at home by reforming its laws around land and using the nation’s wealth to industrialize,” Valen said.

To participate in the survey, visit or contact one of NAFCON’s regional representatives.

-  with a report from Reuters, VVP, GMA News

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