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While in Las Vegas, President Obama spoke on creating a new immigration reform plan that is effective and fair. The debate on immigration reform has been a long and strenuous one, but in typical presidential fashion, Obama is ready to resolve this issue. With Republican and Democratic support, the president wants to see actions now.

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In his speech, President Obama stated:

“I’m here because most Americans agree that it’s time to fix a system that’s been broken for way too long. I’m here because business leaders, faith leaders, labor leaders, law enforcement and leaders from both parties are coming together to say now is the time to find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as the land of opportunity. Now is the time to do this so we can strengthen our economy and strengthen our country’s future.”

America is indeed the land of opportunity, which is why so many other cultures stalk our borders. Marlon Hill says the immigration debate “provides the black community an opportunity to learn more about the stories and challenges of black immigrants who increasingly populate our states as asylees, refugees, legal immigrants and undocumented persons. The growing numbers of these black immigrants and their offspring have huge implications for the demographic makeup of black social and economic institutions, workplaces, places of worship, and ultimately personal relationships.”

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Many immigrants enter our country without the proper documentation, risking their freedom to live in the land of the free. Ironic, isn’t it? However, many of us have the false idea of the faces of immigration. I’ll be honest, as soon as I hear the word, I think about various Spanish-speaking citizens working illegally in our kitchens, on our lawns, etc.

Immigration isn’t an issue that only affects Hispanics–as the media typically paints that picture. According to The Grio, the Black community needs to start focusing on the immigration debate based on broad implications of our economy.

Black immigrants represent a wide range of our culture. We’re not only laborers, but we’re doctors, lawyers and even presidents–it’s obvious the great melting pot that is the United States is changing. And with this change, Black groups like the NAACP should involve themselves in this debate. Black people, we are the product of immigration–President Obama, Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey are proof of that. Now is the time for Black people to stand up and realize that immigration is an American issue. Your ancestors came to America…on ships.

Check out President Obama’s 4-Point Plan Below:

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