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Obama Pushes Senate to Pass Immigration Reform

President Barack Obama is seen delivering his weekly address (White House video screen grab).
U.S. President Barack Obama is calling on lawmakers to support legislation that he believes will fix the nation's "broken" immigration system.

In his weekly address Saturday, Obama said the immigration bill being debated in the Senate is a "compromise" that will strengthen border security, increase penalties against traffickers and create a pathway for earned citizenship for those in the country illegally.

He added that pathway will include passing a background check, learning English and paying taxes and a penalty before "going to the back of the line" behind everyone trying to come to the U.S. legally.

Opponents of the bipartisan bill say it will amount to a de facto amnesty.

Even if the reform bill passes in the Senate, it will likely face tougher scrutiny in the House of Representatives, where leaders are vowing to bring their own immigration bill to the floor for debate.

In the Republican address Saturday, Representative John Kline of the state of Minnesota said the president must show leadership to avoid a July 1 rate hike on student loans. Kline blamed Senate Democrats for blocking plans by both Obama and Republicans in the House of Representatives.

Watch President Obama's address: