Transcript: Obama's Immigration-Reform Speech

He said that the basic American idea that "You make it here if you try" is at stake. 

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President Obama prepares to deliver his immigration-reform address.
(Jewel Samad/Getty Images)

President Obama delivered a speech on the need for immigration-reform legislation today during a visit to Texas today. Read the transcript of his prepared remarks as released by the White House.

Remarks of President Barack Obama -- As Prepared for Delivery

Immigration and Border Security

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

El Paso, Texas

As Prepared for Delivery --

Hello, El Paso! It's great to be back here with all of you, and to be back in the Lone Star State. I love coming to Texas. Even the welcomes are bigger down here. So, to show my appreciation, I wanted to give a big policy speech ... outdoors ... right in the middle of a hot, sunny day.

I hope everyone is wearing sunscreen. 

Now, about a week ago, I delivered the commencement address at Miami Dade Community College, one of the most diverse schools in the nation. The graduates were proud that their class could claim heritage from 181 countries around the world. Many of the students were immigrants themselves, coming to America with little more than the dreams of their parents and the clothes on their backs. A handful had discovered only in adolescence or adulthood that they were undocumented. But they worked hard and gave it their all, and they earned those diplomas.

At the ceremony, 181 flags -- one for every nation represented -- was marched across the stage. Each was applauded by the graduates and relatives with ties to those countries. But then, the last flag -- the American flag -- came into view. And the room erupted. Every person in the auditorium cheered. Yes, their parents or grandparents -- or the graduates themselves -- had come from every corner of the globe. But it was here that they had found opportunity, and had a chance to contribute to the nation that is their home. 

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