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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid