Obama Urges Congress to Pass Immigration Reform
(WASHINGTON) -- As the Senate is poised to make a key vote on an immigration compromise Monday, President Obama pressed Congress Saturday to pass immigration reform.
“The United States Senate is debating a bipartisan, commonsense bill that would be an important step toward fixing our broken immigration system,” Obama said in his weekly address Saturday. “The bill isn’t perfect. It’s a compromise. Nobody is going to get everything they want – not Democrats, not Republicans, not me. But it’s consistent with the principles that I and others have laid out for commonsense reform.”
The president said the bill would lead to “stronger enforcement. A smarter legal immigration system. A pathway to earned citizenship. A more vibrant, growing economy that’s fairer on the middle class. And a more stable fiscal future for our kids.”
“We can do this, because we are a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants; a place enriched by the contributions of people from all over the world, and stronger for it. That’s been the story of America from the start. Let’s keep it going,” he said.
On Friday, a bipartisan immigration amendment on border security was filed in the Senate, setting up a major vote on immigration reform for Monday to determine whether they should proceed with the full bill.
The amendment enhances the border security provisions in the bi-partisan Gang of Eight plan by doubling the number of border patrol agents from its current size of 21,000 to 40,000 officers as well as completing a 700 mile fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The compromise, which was sponsored by two Republican senators – Bob Corker of Tenn. And John Hoeven of N.D. – could help solidify the votes needed for the plan to pass the Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hopes to pass the bill before the July 4 recess, but the plan has an uncertain fate in the House of Representatives as many members are calling for stricter border security measures. House Speaker John Boehner said earlier this week that he would not take an immigration bill to the House floor unless it has support from a majority of House Republicans.
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