Yahoo News reports that President Barack Obama said yesterday that he is committed to a comprehensive immigration overhaul that includes a way for illegal immigrants to become U.S. citizens.
Obama is hosting a small group of senators and House members at the White House next Thursday to discuss how to move the stalled issue forward.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said. People who disagree with the president’s positions on immigration reform are among those being invited, he said.
“We know the votes aren’t there right now,” Gibbs said, adding that one way to try to change that is to talk about legislative approaches different from previous proposals.
Obama told the Esperanza National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast and Conference that U.S. borders must be strengthened to thwart illegal immigration. But he also supports giving the millions of people now in the U.S. illegally the chance to become citizens.
He said they must pay a fine and taxes, learn English and “go to the back of the line” of people trying to enter the United States from their home country.
“That is the fair, practical, and promising way forward, and that’s what I’m committed to passing as president of the United States,” Obama said.
“The American people believe in immigration, but they also believe that we can’t tolerate a situation where people come to the United States in violation of the law, nor can we tolerate employers who exploit undocumented workers in order to drive down wages.”
Immigration Matters Comment
Like the UK, America has a huge number of illegal immigrants, but until no leader has had the courage to suggest a more radical approach.
Employers are hoping that President Obama will also address the problem of ‘Visa Retrogression’, which is holding up hundreds of thousands of legal migrants taking up vital jobs such as nursing.
The UK Government is more likely to introduce a less controversial “regularisation” scheme for a section of the estimated 500,000 to 700,000 illegal migrants.
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