News / USA

Obama: Immigration Reform Can't Be Swept Under Rug

President Barack Obama greets supporters of immigration reform after speech in the East Room of the White House, Washington, Oct. 24, 2013.
President Barack Obama greets supporters of immigration reform after speech in the East Room of the White House, Washington, Oct. 24, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
— President Barack Obama has appealed again to the U.S. Congress to pass legislation that would reform what he calls the broken immigration system.  Obama wants lawmakers to act by the end of the year.

The president's renewed push on immigration reform began after he and Congress achieved a temporary end to the partial U.S. government shutdown, and averted a potential debt default.

Last June, on a 68-32 vote, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed a bill supported by Obama.  The measure, however, went nowhere in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

Speaker John Boehner has not ruled out bringing an immigration measure to a vote.

"I still think immigration reform is an important subject that needs to be addressed, and I am hopeful," said Boehner.

In remarks in the White House East Room Thursday,  Obama recognized what he called some big ongoing fundamental differences between Democrats and Republicans.

But he said reforming the U.S. immigration system would help the economy grow, shrink deficits and strengthen national security.

"The American people support this.  It's not something they reject.  They support it.  Everybody wins here if we work together to get this done.  In fact, if there is a good reason not to pass this commonsense reform, I have not heard it," said President Obama.

Most political analysts say there is little chance the Senate-passed immigration bill will be taken up in the House of Representatives.

House Democrats introduced their own comprehensive bill that combines the Senate measure with a separate border security bill a House committee approved earlier this year.

But they reject a method favored by Republicans that would take a piece-by-piece approach to various parts of the reform legislation, which includes a path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants.

After the bitter political battle over the recent government shutdown, one Republican conservative, Representative Raul Labrador, asserted that President Obama could no longer be trusted in negotiations on immigration reform.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Republicans should take note of the large bipartisan majority that approved an immigration bill in the Senate.

"There is no connection between the Affordable Care Act and comprehensive immigration reform, and what I would remind Republican critics of it is there is enormous support in communities across the country, including business communities and faith communities and law enforcement communities.  I would also note that comprehensive immigration reform passed the Senate with significant Republican support," said Carney.

President Obama says he remains willing to listen to new ideas on fixing the immigration system, just as he remains open to new suggestions on improving the health care reform law.

"We can't just sweep the problem under the rug one more time," said Obama.

In addition to strict requirements for a path to citizenship, the bill approved by the Senate last June includes provisions to improve border security, increase visas for highly skilled workers, and requires employers to electronically verify the legal status of workers.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

36 people are confirmed dead, but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Carol from: Delaware
October 24, 2013 3:32 PM
So I guess the economy and the job situation has been resolved? Because Obama has not uttered a word about this sorry situation in months. Also here is a good idea, send all illegals home and give those jobs to the people on welfare, make them earn this money! GOOD JOB!!!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid