WASHINGTON – In the wake of the U.S. Senate’s “Gang of Eight” announcement on immigration reform yesterday, President Barack Obama traveled to Las Vegas today to deliver his proposals on immigration reform.
“I am here because most Americans agree that it is time to fix a system that has been broken for way too long,” he said. He added it is time to tackle immigration reform, for immigration strengthens “our economy and our country’s future.”
Placing emphasis on bipartisanship, Obama said, “The differences are dwindling and a consensus is growing.”
Despite the years of partisanship, the president today said he felt the time has arrived to where Republicans and Democrats can “finally work together.”
Using the Kennedy-Bush amnesty plan of 2007 as a model, Obama said the infrastructure for “consensus is already in place” and he wants Congress to work immediately and take a vote on the measures “right away.”
While Obama admits those he’s helping have broken the law, he said, “They are not looking for any trouble” and “they are members of the community.”
He said the U.S. needs to make certain everyone is playing “by the rules,” but he insists “in order for immigration reform to work,” there must be a pathway to citizenship.
The president’s reasoning is that to lose these immigrants would be “bad for the economy.” He said many illegal aliens currently are studying for high tech positions but upon their graduation, they will leave America and travel to other countries with their skills.
Additionally, the president elaborated on other requirements needed for comprehensive immigration reform – elements almost identical to the proposals of the Gang of Eight from the U.S. Senate.
He said requirements for amnesty would include passing a background check, paying taxes, “going to the back of the line” and learning to speak English so that “they can earn their way to a green card and eventually citizenship.”
He also adds the nation needs to keep up enforcement and create a national system to figure out who is eligible to work and who is not.
Though the president promised to enact comprehensive immigration reform and never did, he still said in his first administration he worked to “patch up the worst cracks in the immigration system.”
The push for “comprehensive immigration reform” has not been without opposition. U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said yesterday, “The president has demonstrated he will only enforce the laws that he likes.”
Additionally, Congressman Steve Stockman, R-Texas, said, “I will not be supporting the Senate’s proposed ‘immigration reform’ should it reach the House. I cannot and will not support any immigration reform proposal that institutes an amnesty program or does not begin with a comprehensive plan to secure the borders.”
He continued, “It rewards law breaking and encourages a new flood of illegals, perpetuating the very problems it claims to solve.”
He also echoed the point of many other anti-illegal immigration activists by saying, “Our nation’s failed experiments with amnesty have proven it only encourages more illegals willing to wait it out for their turn at free citizenship.”