During President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, he repeated his call to pass comprehensive immigration reform, but seemed to admit that he understood it would be a very hard battle in Congress.
"I know that debate will be difficult and take time, but tonight, let's agree to make that effort," Obama urged. The president also said he was "prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows."
Obama spoke out in favor of the DREAM act, a bill blocked by Senate Republicans last year that would have provided a path to citizenship for immigrant youth who complete two years of college or military service.
"Let's stop expelling talented, responsible young people who can staff our research labs, start new businesses and further enrich this nation," Obama said.
They were brief remarks for a huge issue, and no doubt, many were disappointed that he didn't spend more time addressing immigration reform. But President Obama's speech was generally thematic in nature and he didn't really delve deeply into any one specific issue (outside of education, another key point for the Latino community). The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials also pointed out the missed opportunity to address redistricting, saying, "We call upon the U.S. Department of Justice to ensure full adherence to the Voting Rights Act as the new legislative maps are drawn and implemented across the country."
Overall, President Obama's speech was an inspired reminder of what can be accomplished when we work together as a country. It will be interesting to see if Congress follows his lead.