Joe Biden: Immigration USA ’about dignity’
Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday it’s important for the United States to pass immigration reform to maintain respect throughout the Americas.
“There are a lot of tough decisions that have to be made. In some countries, that means, as we say in this country that the elites have to pay their fair share, pay for the police in the streets and the basic services for the poor. In other places it means taking on corruption head on. In the United States, that means reforming our immigration system – 11 million undocumented men, women and children being able to come out of the shadows and be full participants in American life,” Biden said in his speech at the 43rd Annual Washington Conference on the Americas.
He continued: “Granting them the dignity — my father would say, ‘It’s all about dignity’ – granting them the dignity and respect that they deserve. Without doing that, it’s hard to make the case in my view to 600 million people in the hemisphere that we genuinely respect you all, but we do not show respect for 11 million people – people here in America who hail from the very countries we talk about… I don’t know how that’s done. I don’t know how that’s done, that’s why we are absolutely committed to genuine immigration reform.”
Biden also called for Cuba to release Alan Gross, the American aid worker whom the Cuban regime arrested in 2009.
“We’ll continue to take steps to support the Cuban people and a prosperous Democratic future that they deserve. And I can’t talk about Cuba without mentioning one case that has been one of the biggest obstacles… the Cuban detention of Alan Gross,” Biden said.
He later added: “We are committed to seeing Alan Gross come home and we’re working to make that happen.”
Biden recently announced that he is headed to Brazil and Colombia in the coming weeks as part of President Barack Obama’s efforts to boost engagement with Latin America.