According to the New York Times, President Obama will discuss during his State of the Union address on February 12 his plans to reform the U.S. immigration system, including a path to citizenship for illegals in the country.
Following his reelection in November, President Obama said that immigration reform would be a significant item on his agenda for his second term, and he expected that a bill would be introduced in Congress shortly after his January inauguration.
"We are still assessing our options; no decisions have been finalized and as a result it would be premature to speculate — reports to the contrary are inaccurate," a senior administration official told Reuters.
Despite opposition from Republicans to pass immigration reform in separate parts, President Obama and Democrats intend to push through one large comprehensive bill. A White House aide indicates that Democrats will oppose any measure that does not provide the opportunity for illegal immigrants to obtain legal status one day.
According to the Times, a “bipartisan group of senators” has been meeting to write the bill, which is expected to be introduced as early as March with the hopes of a Senate vote by August.
“This is so important now to both parties that neither the fiscal cliff nor guns will get in the way,” stated Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y), who is leading the talks on the immigration bill. “This is a bottom line,” he added. “The Democrats have made it clear we will not accept a bill without a direct path to earned citizenship.”
Latinos turned out in record numbers in the last election, casting 71 percent of their votes for Obama, prompting Republicans to announce that the GOP would begin to take a more practical approach to immigration.
“Republicans must demonstrate a reasoned approach to start to rebuild their relationship with Latino voters,” declared Clarissa Martinez de Castro, the director of immigration policy at the National Council of La Raza, a radical left-wing Latino organization. “Democrats must demonstrate they can deliver on a promise.”
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