In his State of the Union address last night, President Obama called on Congress to help him make comprehensive immigration reform a reality in the United States, which he pledged to do when he took office.
For a long while, immigration has been highly-discussed at the Capitol, but very little action has been taken. As a result, several states, including South Carolina, have taken it upon themselves to pass their own immigration laws, many of which are very controversial.
Ultimately, the president called on Congress to help him pass legislation that would make the journey to citizenship easier for immigrants.
Referring to the DREAM Act, the president told members of Congress that immigrants who were brought to this country as young children should be granted citizenship if certain conditions are met.
"The opponents of action are out of excuses. We should be working on comprehensive immigration reform right now," Obama said in his speech.
As it currently stands, the DREAM Act would allow students who enter the United States before the age of 16 to become legal residents after five years by completing higher education or joining the armed forces.
The measure was rejected in the Senate in December of 2010 after a bipartisan vote. The DREAM Act could give hope to countless immigrants in South Carolina and the rest of the country who live in fear of being deported day-in and day-out.
There is no doubt that immigration will be a hot-button issue during the 2012 presidential election, and it has been a primary focus during the GOP presidential primary debates.
Source: MSNBC, "Obama draws contrast with GOP on immigration, urging pathway to citizenship," Michael O'Brien, Jan. 25, 2012