World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Obama at Cinco de Mayo Reception

Obama at Cinco de Mayo Reception

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
May 5, 2014

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AT CINCO DE MAYO RECEPTION
East Room
5:46 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody! (Applause.) Bienvenidos a la Casa Blanca! (Applause.) This is a rowdy crowd, I can tell. (Laughter.) They’re ready to party. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Love the margaritas.

THE PRESIDENT: The margaritas I hear are quite good. (Applause.) Be careful, though, they’ll sneak up on you. (Laughter.)

Well, thank you for joining our Cinco de Mayo celebration. It is wonderful to have so many Latinos and Latinas -- (applause) -- and people who wish they were Latino or Latina. (Laughter.) A lot of honorary Latinos and Latinas. On Cinco de Mayo, todos somos Latinos! (Applause and laughter.)

I'm just going to say a few words, and then we get back to the fiesta. No Cinco de Mayo would be complete without great food and great music. So I want to thank our guest chefs, my good friend, José Andrés -- (applause) -- Pati Jinich is here as well. (Applause.) Our musicians -- members of the Georgetown University Orchestra and our mariachis, Los Gallos Negros. (Applause.)

I’m honored to welcome our friends from other parts of the Americas. We've got Mexico’s Undersecretary of North America, Sergio Alcocer, is here. The Ambassador to the United States, Eduardo Medina-Mora, is here as well. Give them a big round of applause. (Applause.) Peru’s Ambassador to the U.S., Harold Forsyth, is here. (Applause.) I also want to welcome all the members of Congress who are here today, including members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus -- and its outstanding Chairman, Rubén Hinojosa, is here. (Applause.) And as always, it’s great to see Hispanic Americans from across my administration, whose contributions every single day make me proud.

Cinco de Mayo marks a great moment in Mexican history -- one that ended up shaping the United States as well. One hundred and fifty-two years ago, a band of Mexican patriots in the town of Puebla faced an invasion by Napoleon III’s troops. The French side was bigger, it was better trained and better armed. But the Mexicans grabbed whatever weapons they could and fought with all their might, and they won the battle. (Applause.) A few years later -- thanks to the bravery and tenacity of the Mexican people, with support of the United States -- the occupation came to an end.

And had the opposite happened, our nations would look very different today. Our friendship with Mexico has had an enormous influence on our history and our culture and our economy. Today, our governments work together on everything from stopping crime to promoting trade to protecting our environment. And millions of Americans are connected to Mexico through ties of friendship and language and family -- and they make vital contributions to our nation every single day. So today, we remember with gratitude those brave fighters who triumphed in Puebla all those years ago, and the generations of Mexicans and Americans who’ve sustained and strengthened us ever since. (Applause.)

Of course, we can honor our past by building an even brighter future together. And that means restoring our nation’s promise of opportunity for all so that everybody has a fair shot at the American Dream -- which is why I fought so hard for the Affordable Care Act -- (applause) -- because every American deserves quality, affordable health care. Thanks to the ACA, millions of Latinos now have access to expanded preventive care, and hundreds of thousands of Latinos have recently enrolled in health care plans, and hundreds of thousands of young Latinos are able to stay on their parents’ plans until they’re 26. (Applause.)

It's the same reason I’m fighting to make sure every child has access to a world-class education, from pre-K through college. (Applause.) And thanks in part to our investments, our high school graduation rate is the highest on record, and the Latino dropout rate has been cut in half since 2000. That's worth applauding. (Applause.)

Education helps us find new frontiers for collaboration between the United States and Mexico, and throughout the hemisphere. That’s why I launched the “100,000 Strong in the Americas” initiative to significantly increase educational exchanges among our countries. And I just came from a discussion with leaders in business and education who see these exchanges as key to maintaining their competitive advantage. They understand that if we're serious about building a 21st century workforce then we're going to have to build knowledge and relationships that reach across borders. And that’s how we’re going to create new jobs and develop new markets, explore new ideas and unleash the hemisphere’s extraordinary opportunity.

And opportunity for all is why I’m fighting so hard to fix a broken immigration system. (Applause.) I am convinced that America’s prosperity and security depend on comprehensive, common-sense immigration reform. Last year, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate came together to pass a common-sense bill that would grow our economy and shrink our deficits, reward businesses and workers that played by the rules -- all while upholding our most cherished values as a nation of immigrants.

So far, the Republicans in the House have refused to allow meaningful immigration reform to move forward at all. We know there are Republicans in the House who want to do the right thing. I'm going to work with everybody who’s serious about strengthening our borders, modernizing our legal immigration system, keeping more families together, and getting this done. And it’s the right thing to do for our economy, for our security and our future.

The majority of Americans agree with me on this. It’s time for members of Congress, and Republicans in the House to catch up with the rest of the country. So I need all of you to go out there and mobilize particularly over the next two months -- tell them to get on board. Get on board with business leaders and faith leaders, law enforcement, Republicans and Democrats across the country -- say yes to fixing our broken immigration system. Let’s get it done right now once and for all. (Applause.)

So, today, on Cinco de Mayo, we celebrate our shared heritage, our shared history, our shared future. That’s not something to be afraid of -- that’s something that we need to embrace. That’s what I’m going to be doing, not just today, but every day, to keep fighting for opportunity for all people and greater understanding between all nations. And I know that’s what you’re fighting for as well.

So, gracias. Que Dios los bendiga, y feliz Cinco de Mayo. Thank you, everybody. (Applause.)

END 5:54 P.M. EDT

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On How Obama’s Supreme Court Choice Says Everything (Bad) About His Presidency

Nothing has epitomised the presidency of Barack Obama quite like his Supreme Court nominees. Time and again, Republican presidents will blithely nominate right wing ideological extremists (Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas) who only sometimes misfire and turn out to be liberals in disguise (David Souter). Yet Obama has consistently skipped over the judicially qualified liberals and gone for a succession of centrists... More>>

ALSO:

Turkey: UN Secretary-General On The Terrorist Bombing In Ankara

The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack in Ankara earlier today. According to the latest reports, the explosion in the Kizilay district killed and wounded dozens of people. More>>

ALSO:

Five Years On: Fukushima And New Zealand

Science Media Centre: It was the worst nuclear event since Chernobyl. In the wake of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, a crippled Japanese nuclear powerplant went into meltdown, and the world watched as emergency workers scrambled to shut down and contain the reactors. More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF: 1 In 3 Syrian Children Has Grown Up Knowing Only Crisis

An estimated 3.7 million Syrian children – 1 in 3 of all Syrian children - have been born since the conflict began five years ago, their lives shaped by violence, fear and displacement, according to a UNICEF report. This figure includes more than 151,000 children born as refugees since 2011. More>>

ALSO:

Franklin Lamb: Syria’s Truce Bodes Well For Salvaging Our Cultural Heritage

The tentative cessation of hostilities in Syria, which came into effect on 2/28/2016, brokered by Washington and Moscow, is only in its second week... It is well documented that there have been daily incidents of artillery shelling, airstrikes and clashes. Yet, for the nearly 12 million displaced civilians, half of Syria’s population, it’s a much welcomed respite. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Rubio’s Last Stand (And Sleater-Kinney)

Well, it certainly was entertaining to watch Rubio succeed in getting under Donald Trump’s skin the other day, in the last debate before tomorrow’s Super Tuesday multi-state sweepstakes... The real killer for Rubio was that the most recent poll from Florida which shows him losing his home state to Trump by a huge margin in the primary due on March 15. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news