National Council of La Raza
On July 22, 2007 in Miami, Florida, Obama was a featured speaker at the annual convention of the National Council of La Raza, an open-borders group that lobbies for racial preferences, mass immigration, and amnesty for illegal aliens. Among his remarks were the following:
“I have been running for President now for a little over five months. And in that time, I have been inspired by crowds tens of thousands of people strong -- many who have come out for the very first political event of their lifetime….
“The real reason that so many people are coming out and signing up is because they see in this campaign the potential for the change Americans are so hungry for. It's not just the kind of change you hear about in slogans or from politicians every few years; it's the kind of bottom-up, grassroots movement that can transform a nation.
“La Raza has always represented this kind of movement. You didn't get your start as some top-down interest group in Washington, you got your start standing up for the dreams and aspirations of Latinos in farm fields and barrios all across America….
“I will never walk away from the 12 million undocumented immigrants who live, work, and contribute to our country every single day.
“There are few better examples of how broken, bitter, and divisive our politics has become than the immigration debate that played out in Washington a few weeks ago. So many of us -- Democrats and Republicans -- were willing to compromise in order to pass comprehensive reform that would secure our borders while giving the undocumented a chance to earn their citizenship....
“[W]e are a nation of immigrants -- a nation that has always been willing to give weary travelers from around the world the chance to come here and reach for the dream that so many of us have reached for. That's the America that answered my father's letters and his prayers and brought him here from Kenya so long ago. That's the America we believe in.
“But that's the America that the President and too many Republicans walked away from when the politics got tough.... [W]e saw parts of the immigration debate took a turn that was both ugly and racist in a way we haven't seen since the struggle for civil rights....
“We don't expect our government to guarantee success and happiness, but when millions of children start the race of life so far behind only because of race, only because of class, that's a betrayal of our ideals. That's not just a Latino problem or an African-American problem; that is an American problem that we have to solve....
“It's an American problem when one in four Latinos cannot communicate well with their doctor about what's wrong or fill out medical forms because there are language barriers we refuse to break down....”
To view a comprehensive profile and numerous supplemental resources about the National Council of La Raza, click here.