The audience cheered repeatedly when Biden called for immigration reform and declared that it would spur innovation.
Vice President Joe Biden delivered the commencement speech at Miami Dade College on Saturday, calling for immigration reform and linking it to America’s continued economic success.
“It’s the morally right thing to do, but it’s also the overwhelmingly best thing to do in the interest of the country,” said Biden, according to Mashable. “Immigration reform will increase the Gross Domestic Product by 5.4 percent. That’s 1.4 trillion dollars over the next 20 years.”
The 17-minute speech seemed to be well-received by the crowd of 2,000 graduating students, drawing much applause.
It contained a vintage Biden one-liner as well, after a protester yelled “Stop deportations!” Biden did not miss a beat, responding “We’ll do that too, kid, but let me finish my speech.”
Miami Dade College’s graduates represented 39 different nationalities, which were honored by a procession of international flags before the ceremony. The audience cheered repeatedly when Biden called for immigration reform and declared that it would spur innovation.
“More change is going to take place in the next 20 years than has taken place in the last 100 years,” said Biden. “America is on the cusp of so many innovations that will change the world.”
Many of the graduating seniors told local CBS Miami reporters that they were flattered Biden came to their campus for graduation.
“I would never have imagined when I came to this country as a 9-year-old child from Honduras that the vice president would be coming to our school,” Merrary Hernandez, the student body president of the Inter-American campus, told CBS Miami.
“Let me conclude by saying, continue. Please continue to pursue your dreams,” said Biden. “It’s the only way you’re going to stay young.”