ICYMI, here is President Obama's speech on his plan for immigration reform. I livetweeted it. The following are slightly paraphrased quotes from the president:
"Time for common sense, comprehensive immigration reform. Now's the time."
"Si se puede!" cheers from crowd as PBO calls for broad immigration reform.
"Leaders from both parties are coming together to say now is the time."
"Now is the time because we can strengthen the economy. We are a nation of immigrants... that's who we are, in our bones."
"Yes they crossed border illegally or overstayed visas, but they're now here. Not looking for trouble."
"Like the rest of us, they try to earn a living. Often get paid less. Bad for them, bad for the entire economy."
"If we're truly committed to strengthening middle class, we gotta fix the system."
"It's also about folks who come here LEGALLY, have a hard time, it's bad for the economy."
"Intel, Instagram, started with the help of immigrants who studied here, stayed here."
"In my 1st term, patched up some of the worst cracks in the system. Illegal crossings are down 80% since 2000."
"We focused on criminals; deportations of CRIMINALS is at highest level ever."
"We took up cause of the DREAMers." (big cheer)
"We need Congress to act on comprehensive approach re: the 11 milliion undocumented immigrants in the US now."
"For the 1st time in years, GOP/Dems seem ready to tackle this problem together."
"Action must follow desire ... we can't let reform get bogged down in endless debate."
"My ideas supported by Dems (Ted Kennedy) and Republicans (Bush)."
"I'll send up a bill based on my proposal and insist they vote on it right away."
"Principles are straightforward: We need to focus on enforcement... strengthen borders, crack down on businesses that hire undocumented workers."
"We have to deal wit the 11 million who are here illegally. Must EARN way to citizenship."
"We must make sure there IS a pathway to citizenship." (big cheer)
"It won't be a quick process, it will be a fair process."
"We gotta bring our legal immigration system into the 21st century. Example: Waiting years until your family joins you in US."
"Smarter enforcement, pathway to earned citizenship, improve legal immigration system to be magnet for best, brightest."
"They faced hardship, racism, ridicule. They did their part to build a nation."
"It's important for us to remember our history. Unless you're Native American, you came from someplace else."
"We forget that most of us used to be them."
"Do we have the resolve to finally put this issue behind us? I believe that we do." (applause)
"Remember that this is not just a debate about policy. It's about PEOPLE."