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At MTV Townhall, President Obama Answers Immigration Questions

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Yesterday afternoon we tweeted about the end of MTV’s Presidential Townhall, which touched on immigration.

Here is what the President actually said — leave us a comment at the end with what you thought!

On the DREAM Act:

Q    Good afternoon, Mr. President, my name is Alejandro Gonzales.  I’m a junior at Georgetown University.  And I came from Cuba when I was six years old.  Since coming from Cuba, I have been able to live the American Dream, because I’ve been able to get a higher education.  Others haven’t been as lucky as I am, and there’s a lot of immigrants in this country today who unfortunately can’t do that.  How will your administration take concrete steps to make sure that legislation like the DREAM Act gets passed before the end of your term, so that these immigrants don’t live the dream — don’t dream the dream, live the reality?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the DREAM Act, this is a concept that I think is central to the American story.  Each wave of immigrants that have come in have been able to assimilate, integrate and then rise up and become part of this great American Dream.

We’ve now got a group of young people in this country who for all practical purposes are American.  They grew up here.  They’ve gone to school here.  They don’t know anything other than being American kids.  But their parents may have brought them here without all the proper paperwork — might have brought them here when they were three, might have brought them here when they were five.

And so, lo and behold, by the time they finish school, and they’re ready to go to college, they find out they can’t go to college and, in fact, their status as Americans are threatened.

And so what we’ve said is for those young people, who didn’t break any laws, they didn’t have a choice when they came here, give them a chance by getting an education, or serving in our military, having a series of standards that they have to meet in terms of showing good character.  And if they do that, then give them a pathway for finally getting their paperwork straight and being full-fledged American citizens.

It’s the right thing to do.  It has received bipartisan support in the past.  My strong hope is that we can get bipartisan support for this in the future.  And this is something that I’ve been a cosponsor of this legislation on.  I’m going to keep on pushing.