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 Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid