News / USA

Washington Week: Focus on US Immigration Reform

Washington Week: Focus on US Immigration Reformi
X
March 31, 2013 10:09 PM
The U.S. Congress reconvenes this week amid signs of progress on a thorny issue: reforming America’s much-criticized immigration system. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Michael Bowman
The U.S. Congress reconvenes this week amid signs of progress on a thorny issue: reforming America’s much-criticized immigration system. 
 
President Barack Obama says foreign-born workers have always contributed to America’s economic prowess.
 
“The promise we see in those who come from all over the world is one of our greatest strengths. It has kept our workforce young. It keeps our businesses on the cutting edge," he said. 
 
Now, U.S. business and union leaders are reporting a deal on a guest worker program for low-skilled laborers, potentially removing a key obstacle to an overhaul of federal immigration laws.
 
“The time has come for comprehensive, sensible immigration reform," said Obama. 
 
Lawmakers in both houses of Congress are crafting reform bills that are expected to provide an eventual path to citizenship for most of the estimated 11-million undocumented foreign nationals in the country. That would be paired with heightened efforts to secure U.S. borders and halt the flow of illegal immigrants.
 
Two champions of immigration reform - Republican Senator John McCain and Democratic Senator Charles Schumer - recently visited the U.S. border with Mexico.
 
“With the proper use of technology, we will be able to say we have a degree of border security that will enable people to move toward a path to citizenship," he said. 
 
But fellow-Republican Senator Marco Rubio is cautioning that reports of bipartisan consensus are premature. In a statement, Rubio said legislative deliberations on immigration reform “cannot be rushed.”
 
President Obama says he is optimistic. “My sense is that they [lawmakers] have come close, and my expectation is that we will actually see a bill on the floor of the Senate next month [in April]," he said. 
 
The White House is also pressing for gun reform. This week, the president travels to Denver, Colorado, where he will discuss proposals to curb gun violence in the United States. Obama says the nation must not forget last year’s mass-shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.
 
“Less than 100 days ago that happened and the entire country was shocked. And the entire country pledged we would do something about it and that this time would be different. Shame on us if we've forgotten," he said. 
 
Foreign affairs will also command Washington’s attention, including escalating tensions with North Korea. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. 
 
“All of the nations in that region are committed to a pathway to peace, and the North Koreans seem to be heading in a different direction," he said. 
 
Hagel added that the United States and its allies must be prepared for “any eventuality” concerning North Korea.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid