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

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid