Tags: Barack Obama | Homeland Security | Immigration | Presidential History | Trump Refugee Ban | Chicago | speech

Obama: US Immigration Always Been a 'Little Bit Haphazard'

The Washington Post

By    |   Monday, 24 Apr 2017 04:08 PM

Former President Barack Obama, in his first public remarks since President Donald Trump took office, jumped into the immigration debate, stating its U.S. history has always been "a little bit haphazard."

At a talk to about 300 students at the University of Chicago on Monday, Obama did not mention his successor by name, and instead focused on civic engagement and young leaders, Newsweek reported.

A videotape of his remarks was posted by The Washington Post.

"It's not like everybody on Ellis Island had their papers straight," the former president said. "The history of our immigration has always been a little bit haphazard."

According to Newsweek, Obama's statement was in response to a question from a student on stage who had found it difficult to get day laborers to speak for a survey following November's election victory for Trump, who has made a border wall and tougher immigration enforcement an administration priority.

Obama also outlined what he called the major challenges of the day – and his hope young leaders will help find the solutions.

"The one thing that I'm absolutely convinced of is, yes we confront a whole lot of challenges from economic inequality and lack of opportunity to a criminal justice system that is too often skewed in ways that are unproductive, to climate change to issues related to violence, all of those challenges are serious, they're daunting but not insoluble," he said, Newsweek reported.

Other than a statement defending the Affordable Care Act on its seventh anniversary last month, Obama has kept a low profile since leaving office.

But the Chicago appearance was the start of his return to pubic life, Newsweek reported; he is expected to receive a "Profile in Courage" award from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, and at the end of May will appear alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate to give a speech.

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Former President Barack Obama, in his first public remarks since President Donald Trump took office, jumped into the immigration debate, stating its U.S. history has always been "a little bit haphazard."
Chicago, speech, president, history
315
2017-08-24
Monday, 24 Apr 2017 04:08 PM
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