UN President Barack Obama admitted on Thursday my biggest failure so far is a lack of comprehensive immigration reform, but it wasn't for lack of trying or desire.
During a town hall at the University of Miami, Univision news anchor Jorge Ramos reminded Obama he promised in May 2008 we will have, in the first year, an immigration bill that I strongly support.
Ramos pointed out Obama did not introduce immigration reform legislation during his first year and asked the president to acknowledge that you did not keep your promise.
The president said when he took office in January 2009, his first priority was making sure that we prevented us from going into a Great Depression through emergency measures that took up a huge amount of time in the first year.
But even in that first year, one of my first acts was to invite every single member of Congress who had previously been supportive of comprehensive immigration reform, and to say to them, we need to get this done, he said.
And what I confess I did not expect -- and so I'm happy to take responsibility for being naive here -- is that Republicans who had previously supported comprehensive immigration reform -- my opponent in 2008, who had been a champion of it and who attended these meetings -- suddenly would walk away, Obama said. That's what I did not anticipate”.
Well, Jorge, as you remind me, my biggest failure so far is we haven't gotten comprehensive immigration reform done, the president said, drawing a laugh from the audience. So we're going to be continuing to work on that. But it's not for lack of trying or desire and I'm confident we're going to accomplish that”.