“Just as President Barack Obama is pushing new initiatives on gun control and immigration, the gloomy old problem of a sluggish economy is elbowing its way back into prominence,” the AP writes, adding, “The White House, the Federal Reserve and independent economists attributed the shrinkage in gross domestic product and the drop in consumer confidence to one-time events and said underlying economic factors were still showing encouraging signs. But in politics, power resides in the moment. Any immediate economic setback — or the perception of one — could weaken Obama’s clout or at least distract him as he carefully tries to put his imprint on initiatives dealing with immigration and gun violence.”
“President Barack Obama says he’s looking for immigration reform to be completed within six months,” AP writes of Obama’s interviews with Spanish-language networks yesterday. Obama said, “I can guarantee that I will put everything I have behind it.”
And one sticking point for Obama is how quickly people can get a pathway to citizenship: “What we don’t want is to create some vague prospect in the future that somehow comprehensive immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship will happen, you know, mañana. We want to make sure that we’re very clear that this legislation provides a real pathway.”
Obama was also asked about his administration’s 184,000 deportations of “non-criminals.” Obama: "I'm not a king. I am the head of the executive branch of government. I'm required to follow the law. And that's what we've done." More: "What we've seen is that the people who are being deported, the vast majority of them now are criminals. That did not used to be the case. But there are still obviously gonna be people who get caught up in the system." He called some deportation stories “heartbreaking” and "that's why we're pushing for comprehensive immigration reform,” per USA Today.
Obama to Telemundo on guns: “Well the problem is is that a huge proportion of those guns come in from outside Chicago. … If you are just creating a bunch of pockets of gun laws without having sort of a unified, integrated system -- for example of background checks, then it's going to be a lot harder for an individual community, a single community, to protect itself from this kind of gun violence.”
The Chicago Tribune picks up on that also in their story about the girl killed who performed in a prep band at Obama’s inauguration. Deaths from gun violence in Chicago are already at 42 this year, the worst since 2002.