Second-grader puts Michelle Obama on the spot
As her husband made his case for sweeping immigration reform in the White House Rose Garden, first lady Michelle Obama got a first-hand peek at the human face of the debate as she visited an elementary school in Silver Spring, Maryland, with Mexico’s first lady Margarita Zavala.
Obama answered questions from a group of second graders who wanted to know things like what’s the president’s favorite sport and whether her daughters exercise. But one little girl asked about immigration.
The school did not identify the little girl who posed the question. Montgomery County schools spokesman Dana Tofig said schools are barred by law from asking about students’ immigration status or providing such information to others, The Washington Post reported.
“We won’t help identify the kid. We won’t help identify the parents,” Tofig told the newspaper.
The school’s principal, Jane Litchko, told the Post that she called the little girl’s parents to let them know what had happened. The girl went home as usual at the end of the school day, Litchko was quoted as saying.
Here’s the transcript of the exchange provided by the White House:
STUDENT: Mrs. Obama, I have a question.
MRS. OBAMA: What’s your question?
STUDENT: I have a question. My mom said — my mom said that — I think that she says that Barack Obama is taking everybody away that doesn’t have papers.
MRS. OBAMA: Yeah, well, that’s something that we have to work on, right, to make sure that people can be here with the right kind of papers, right? That’s exactly right.
STUDENT: But my mom doesn’t have … (crosstalk).
MRS. OBAMA: Yeah, well, we have to work on that. We have to fix that, and everybody has got to work together in Congress to make sure that that happens. That’s right.
Photo Credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (U.S. first lady Michelle Obama (L) and Mexico’s first lady Margarita Zavala speak to children about health and fitness during a visit to a Maryland school)