Immigration reform: White House says promised push begins next week
Obama met Friday with seven members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to discuss strategy and policy for the coming debate on immigration reform, a major campaign promise.
President Obama will begin his push for sweeping reform of the nation’s immigration laws – a major campaign promise that was embraced by Latino voters in November – on Tuesday in Las Vegas, the White House announced on Friday.Skip to next paragraph
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The announcement that Mr. Obama would pursue legislation that, in the words of the White House, “must include a path to earned citizenship” for the more than 10 million undocumented immigrants in the country, came after a late morning meeting with congressional immigration reform advocates.
The president met with seven members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) – six House members and one senator, Bob Menendez (D) of New Jersey – to discuss strategy and policy for the coming immigration reform debate, according to broad details of the meeting provided by congressional aides and the White House.
“The president is the quarterback and he will direct the team, call the play, and be pivotal if we succeed,” said Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D) of Illinois, the House’s most seasoned immigration reform legislator.
“I am very optimistic based on conversations with Republicans in the House and Senate that we will do more than just talk about the immigration issue this year,” he added. Congressman Gutierrez was the leading Democratic House sponsor of the last drive for comprehensive immigration reform during the George W. Bush administration.
Democrats aren’t the only ones mulling a plan. Sen. Marco Rubio (R) of Florida has offered the broad contours of a conservative immigration reform proposal in recent weeks, albeit one featuring a longer, more difficult path to US citizenship than Democrats or the president are likely to favor.