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Obama 'Modestly Optimistic' About Immigration Legislation

  • VOA News

President Barack Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., Jan. 31, 2014.

President Barack Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., Jan. 31, 2014.

The U.S. president has suggested he might be willing to open the door to compromise on immigration legislation.

Barack Obama, in a pair of interviews released Friday, said he may drop his insistence that immigration legislation include a special pathway to citizenship for the 11 million people already in the US. illegally.

The U.S. leader's comments come a day after Republican leaders in the House of Representatives released a statement of immigration principles, allowing millions of adults who live in the U.S. unlawfully to obtain legal status after paying back taxes and fines. However, the Republican plan stops short of offering a route to citizenship, a step some Republican conservatives consider as amnesty.

President Obama has been waiting since last year for the House to take up immigration reform after the Senate passed a bill providing a path to citizenship that would take at least 13 years.

The president says he remains "modestly optimistic" that he can work out an immigration reform agreement with the Republicans.

His comments came during an online Google Plus Hangout discussion and a CNN interview.

Many Republicans see immigration reform legislation as a chance to attract Latino voters who largely supported Obama and the Democrats in the 2012 and 2008 elections.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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