U.S. President Barack Obama is prodding Congress to pass legislation overhauling the nation's immigration system.
The White House says Mr. Obama is promoting the economic and national security benefits of a bipartisan bill being considered in the U.S. Senate, where the first votes are scheduled later in the day. The president is joining a cross-section of leaders from the business, labor and religious communities.
A group of eight Democratic and Republican senators have agreed on a bill that includes creating a path to citizenship for the estimated 11-million undocumented foreign residents in the United States. One of the senators, New York Democrat Charles Schumer, said he is confident the Senate bill will pass by July 4th, the U.S. Independence Day holiday.
Meanwhile, House of Representatives leader, Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, told ABC television he thinks his chamber will also approve immigration legislation. But he said the measure is likely to mandate more restrictive security along the U.S. border with Mexico.
Boehner said he thinks Congress will complete the immigration overhaul this year.
"I think by the end of the year, we could have a bill."