Biden welcomes new Americans, slams Boehner on immigration bill
November 14th, 2013
05:46 PM ET
9 years ago

Biden welcomes new Americans, slams Boehner on immigration bill

Atlanta (CNN) - While troubles over health care and immigration continue to dog the Obama administration, Vice President Joe Biden addressed a friendly crowd Thursday, delivering the keynote speech at a naturalization ceremony.

In his remarks, Biden strongly condemned House Speaker John Boehner’s comments about immigration bill that passed the Senate earlier this year. On Wednesday, Boehner said the House had "no intention" of voting on the bill.

Biden said that he was "extremely disappointed that Speaker of the House of Representatives announced yesterday that he will not allow the process to work, he will not allow the House to play by fair play, the American way, and let Congress actually vote their conscience to fix a broken system," calling it a "step backward in the history of the country."

Making his case in front of 104 naturalized citizens and their families at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, Biden encouraged the new citizens to help the other 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.

"Don't pull up the ladder behind you when you come on board ... there are millions of people who are already acting as decent Americans that deserve a chance, that deserve a path, to earn their way ... so reach back, help as you move on, and don't be afraid."

With immigration reform talks at a standstill and the fate of undocumented immigrants hanging in the balance, it is unclear what President Obama could do if the bill dies. In 2012, the President stopped the deportation of undocumented minors under a deferred action program.

The House is in session 14 days between now and the end of the year, and the third-ranking House Republican, GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy, says there simply isn't enough time for the bill to be considered.

Biden thanked the new citizens for "picking us," and got big laughs from the audience when telling a story about his Irish-Catholic mother and one of her quintessentially American beliefs.

When Biden was on his way to meeting the Queen of England for the first time, his mother told him to not bow or kiss the Queen's ring, because "Joey, nobody is better than you," and you're not better than anybody else.

In closing, Biden pledged to let undocumented immigrants "out of the shadows," saying "they all came for the promise of a better life, and they're incredibly capable of contributing, and many are already contributing."

Filed under: Immigration • Joe Biden • John Boehner
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    USA is founded ion immigrants. GOP better shut up.

    November 14, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  2. Long

    Biden pushing the same illegal immigrant amnesty bill that in essence a slap in the face to all those people who were LEGALLY naturalized citizens after they spent years following the law properly.

    Of course, same guy who calls to congratulate the wrong guy after he won his election.

    November 14, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  3. Played By the Rules

    I was born a natural U.S. Citizen. If I were to break any law, no matter what it was, I would face the consequenses. These people broke the law just getting in the country and that, to me, shows they are lawbreakers from the beginning.

    November 14, 2013 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  4. danicalifornia

    Immigration reform is the last thing people care about. Close the borders and enforce the laws..then maybe the country will look at the immigration issue. Obama and his thugs keep pivoting from one thing to another. What a manic administration – they can't get anything right.

    November 14, 2013 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  5. raul c.

    The Speaker is no Speaker since he's only a puppet of the Tea Party. He doesn't deserve to be 3rd in line if the Pres. and VP both die. He's a joke..

    November 14, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  6. Streptococo

    Biden has been missed in the debate

    November 14, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  7. YUCK

    I thought this nation was built on Christian values?Now we know who are the oppressors.(the white conservative republicans)

    November 14, 2013 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  8. ED1

    As always open mouth insert foot the people you were talking to came in the front door legal not the back door illegal.

    November 14, 2013 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  9. Mostafa

    If the GOP could not do it in all year work, that meant ,for me,they are not serious about doing it.

    November 15, 2013 02:29 am at 2:29 am |