Obama: Let people with criminal records 'make their case' in federal jobs

President Obama on Monday defended his new plan to help get people out of prison and into a job, and said his administration would do its part by delaying its efforts to determine whether people have a criminal record when they apply for work at the federal government.

"I'm taking action to 'ban the box' for the most competitive jobs at federal agencies," Obama said in a speech in Newark, N.J., referring to his decision to delay questions about people's criminal records when they seek a job in the public sector.

"Give them a chance to get in there so they can make their case," he said of the executive action.

Obama was joined by Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Paul Fishman, and spoke specifically on the obstacles former incarcerated individuals face when attempting to return to society.

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