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Obama agenda: Playing defense on immigration

In his effort to tout his jobs plan and rally his base, President Obama held a roundtable discussion with Hispanic journalists yesterday, NBC’s Kristen Welker reports. Obama found himself playing defense as he fielded a number of questions about why immigration reform has stalled, and why the unemployment rate in the Hispanic community continues to soar.  The participants included journalists from Yahoo, MSN Latino and AOL Latino/Huffington Post Latino Voices who asked questions from readers which were submitted online.  

Welker adds that Obama blamed Republicans in Congress for the failure to move forward on immigration reform and the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for students who are studying in this country: "Unfortunately, over the last several years what you’ve seen is the Republican Party move away from support of comprehensive immigration reform."

But one of the questions submitted online shows wasn’t satisfied with that kind of answer: "Mr. President, I am an undocumented law graduate from New York City. I'm just writing to say that your message that you do not have a dance partner is not a message of hope. A real dancer goes out on the dance floor and picks out his or her dance partner." The president, seemingly irritated, responded: "I just have to continue to say this notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true. We are doing everything we can administratively. But the fact of the matter is there are laws on the books that I have to enforce."

"The Obama administration cut corners before concluding that climate-change pollution can endanger human health, a key finding underpinning costly new regulations, an internal government watchdog said yesterday," AP writes. "Regulators and the White House disagreed with the finding, and the report did not question the science behind the administration’s conclusions. Still, the decision by the Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general is sure to encourage lawyers, global warming doubters, and Republicans taking aim at the agency for what they view as job-killing environmental regulations."