WASHINGTON, June 22 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday traveled to Lake Buena Vista, Florida, to speak to a conference of Latino officials, using the opportunity to voice his commitment to immigration reform, while swiping Republican opponent Mitt Romney, who spoke one day ahead of him at the same conference.
In his speech to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials' annual conference, Obama urged Congress to come up with a long-term immigration policy, and highlighted his administration's advocacy on Hispanics' behalf.
Obama chided Congress for inaction on the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act), saying "we should have passed the DREAM Act a long time ago."
"My door has been open for three and a half years," Obama said. "They know where to find me. I've said time and again, send me the DREAM Act, I will sign it right away. And I'm still waiting to work with anyone from either party who is committed to real reform. "
Obama's speech was also a rebuke to Romney, who on Thursday unveiled a series of family-friendly proposals aimed at immigrants who are current legal U.S. residents, but gave no details on how he would implement long-term reform if he is elected president.
"In his speech he said that when he makes a promise to you, he' ll keep it," Obama said to wild cheers from the audience. "Well, he has promised to veto the DREAM Act, and we should take him at his word."
Obama and Romney are competing for Latino votes for the November election, and polls suggested Obama has gained the upper hand, especially after announcing last week a new policy that would stop the deportation of some illegal immigrants who were brought to the country as children.