(WASHINGTON) — President Obama insisted on Wednesday that Congress will pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill, saying that a leaked copy of a White House proposal that irked Republicans working on a bipartisan bill won’t jeopardize the effort to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws.
Lawmakers were upset last weekend because Obama pledged to withhold his plan while they crafted their own. The White House claimed that the leak was unintentional and the president phoned GOP senators to reiterate that he supports the negotiations in Congress.
During an interview with Univision San Antonio affiliate KWEX, the president claimed, “The negotiations are still moving forward. Information floats out of Washington all the time; that shouldn’t prevent anybody from moving forward.”
The president said the fact that the White House is drawing up its own plan should come as no surprise because, “if Congress doesn’t do its job, we’re going to go ahead and put a bill on the floor of the United States Senate.”
While some differences between the White House and Senate plans exist, the president said that on the whole, they are very similar since they both include an earned path to citizenship, enhanced border security measures, and tougher crackdowns on businesses that hire undocumented immigrants.
When asked about ending the record pace of deportations that have marked his presidency, Obama again shot down the possibility of taking executive action to halt deportations in the midst of negotiations over a bill. He very confidently promised that an immigration bill would pass.
“What I can promise is that we are going to get comprehensive immigration reform, but my job is to carry out the laws that are already in place,” he said.
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