I am on the White House media list so I had an embargoed copy of the speech. I was eager to see whether Obama addressed black joblessness. He didn't.
But Obama did address the needs of illegal immigrants:
One last point about education. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of students excelling in our schools who are not American citizens. Some are the children of undocumented workers, who had nothing to do with the actions of their parents. They grew up as Americans and pledge allegiance to our flag, and yet live every day with the threat of deportation. Others come here from abroad to study in our colleges and universities. But as soon as they obtain advanced degrees, we send them back home to compete against us. It makes no sense.
Now, I strongly believe that we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration. I am 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. I know that debate will be difficult and take time. But tonight, let’s agree to make that effort. And let’s stop expelling talented, responsible young people who can staff our research labs, start new businesses, and further enrich this nation.
Obama's latest call for so-called comprehensive immigration reform largely fell on deaf ears.
In an e-blast, Roy Beck of NumbersUSA wrote:
Well, here was the crazy talk that all those American kids who have graduated recently and are unemployed or underemployed don't deserve protection but instead should be forced to compete with tens of thousands of foreign students for these jobs.
There was a smattering of applause, but I saw NO standing. Nice!
As bad as the language of the President's text -- and as disappointing that he would not put unemployed Americans first by reducing immigration -- I am reassured that this section of the speech basically bombed.
For the majority of Americans, that's the bomb.