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.
— 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

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid