President Obama will give his fourth State of the Union speech Tuesday. The speech signals major policy goals for the coming year and reports, as the name suggests, on the current state of the country. Today, we hear about two issues that could be in the speech. And we talk with a Congressional expert about its
Political candidates in the United States often talk about
immigration reform during election campaigns. Now, lawmakers from the two main parties are saying the system is broken and major changes are needed. Many people expect President Obama to discuss the issue of the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants in his State of the Union speech. Faith Lapidus has more.
A group of Democratic and Republican senators recently proposed a series of immigration reforms. Under the plan, illegal
immigrants would register with the government. They would
agree to let the government investigate their financial and
criminal history. And they would have to pay any fines or taxes they owe.
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In return, the immigrants would earn a special "probationary" status. This would permit them to live and work legally in the United States.
The plan would set special rules for children who entered the United States with their parents and were educated in the
country. Exceptions also would be given to agricultural workers needed for the nation's food supply. The Senators’ plan would strengthen enforcement of immigration rules.
President Obama has set out goals for his own plan.
"The time has come for common-sense, comprehensive
immigration reform. The time is now."
The administration has noted four areas that need reform. They are border security, simplifying legal immigration, a path to earned citizenship and measures against those employing illegal immigrants.
Immigration reform is now getting a lot of attention from both the Democratic and Republican parties. Senator John McCain
represents the state of Arizona, which borders Mexico.
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“Now we will again attempt to commit the remaining resources to secure the border, modernize and streamline our current
immigration system, and create a tough but fair path to
citizenship for those here illegally.”
Marco Rubio of Florida is one of the Senators involved in the bipartisan reform plan. Republicans chose him to give their
party’s reply to the State of the Union speech. I’m Faith Lapidus. The tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in
Newtown, Connecticut brought attention to the issue of gun
control in the United States. Twenty children were among the 26 people killed in the attack.
Since then, President Obama recorded a message about gun
control, and Congress held its first hearings on the issue. So many people will be listening to what the president has to say to lawmakers Tuesday night. Christopher Cruise has more.
Few issues in American politics bring emotions to a boil faster than gun control. Gun rights activists have fought measures
designed to limit or ban the sale of powerful automatic weapons for years.
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The National Rifle Association is a national organization for gun owners. The NRA fights new gun laws in the courts and rates
political candidates on their gun-related positions.
Gun control supporters have called for laws banning or limiting ownership of weapons meant for military use. President Obama has called on Americans to take part in a campaign to fight gun violence. He says military weapons were not meant to be used by the public.
“Weapons designed for the theater of war have no place in a movie theater. The majority of Americans agree with us on this.” The right to gun ownership is part of the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. “The right of the people to keep and bear arms,” it says, is...