News / USA

Obama Urges Senate to Pass Immigration Bill

Kent Klein
Immigration reform legislation will be introduced within hours, according to two key senators who met Tuesday with President Barack Obama. The lawmakers gave a positive assessment of the bill’s chances of passing the Senate.
 
President Obama is urging senators to move quickly to pass the bipartisan initiative to update U.S. immigration laws.

Sen. John McCain, left, and Sen. Charles Schumer, walk out of the White House in Washington, April 16, 2013Sen. John McCain, left, and Sen. Charles Schumer, walk out of the White House in Washington, April 16, 2013
x
Sen. John McCain, left, and Sen. Charles Schumer, walk out of the White House in Washington, April 16, 2013
Sen. John McCain, left, and Sen. Charles Schumer, walk out of the White House in Washington, April 16, 2013
After leaving the Oval Office, Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer and Republican Senator John McCain were optimistic about the bill’s progress.

Schumer told reporters the compromise bill will move ahead, despite not being as wide-ranging as Obama had hoped.

“And so, we are feeling very good about this.  Things are moving in a very, very good way.  And the president’s support of our proposal, even though he would not fully agree with it, is sort of just the right place to be,” Schumer said.

In a written statement, the president said the bill does not include everything he wanted, but it is largely consistent with his principles for comprehensive reform.  

McCain, who unsuccessfully sponsored an immigration bill in 2007, said he believes this legislation will go forward.

“This is the beginning of a process, not the end.  We will have hearings, we will have amendments, we will have floor debates, but I am confident that at the end of the day, we will have a bill to the president’s desk,” McCain said.

After being introduced by Schumer, the immigration bill is to undergo hearings next week.  It would likely reach the Senate floor in late May or early June.

The legislation would create a 13-year path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally, but only after steps are taken to secure the border with Mexico, where many illegal immigrants enter.

In his home state of Arizona, which borders Mexico, McCain has received sharp criticism for supporting legislation that allows illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.  But he said most Americans support the provision if it is accompanied by a strengthened border patrol and strict requirements for becoming a citizen.

“Then the overwhelming majority of Americans are willing to give these people who are in this country illegally, some of them for many, many years, the opportunity to have a path to citizenship and a legal residency,” McCain said.

The bill is a result of months of behind-the scenes negotiations between Democrats and Republicans.  Schumer said it has the support of business, labor and agriculture organizations.

If the legislation passes the Senate, it is expected to face a tougher path in the House of Representatives.

You May Like

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid