U.S. President Barack Obama says he is committed to passing
comprehensive reform of the country's immigration laws. The president told a gathering of
Hispanics the nation's borders must be strengthened to stop illegal
President Obama said that while immigration is vital for America's future, illegal immigration cannot continue.
American people believe in immigration," he said. "But they also
believe that we cannot tolerate a situation where people come to the
United States in violation of the law."
At the Esperanza
National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast and Conference, Mr. Obama said the
millions of people who are in the U.S. illegally should have the chance
to become citizens.
"For those who wish to become citizens, we
should require them to pay a penalty and pay taxes, learn English, go
to the back of the line behind those who played by the rules. That is
the fair, practical and promising way forward," he said.
president did not give a timetable for getting immigration reform
legislation passed, but he said his administration has made progress in
strengthening border security.
He also said employers should not be allowed to exploit illegal immigrants to drive down wages.
Mr. Obama, the first African-American U.S. president, predicted that someday there will be a Hispanic president.