Obama urges House to pass immigration reform by August

PRETORIA Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:25pm EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama (C) arrives at a joint news conference with South Africa's President Jacob Zuma (L) at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, June 29, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

U.S. President Barack Obama (C) arrives at a joint news conference with South Africa's President Jacob Zuma (L) at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, June 29, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

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PRETORIA (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Saturday urged the House of Representatives to follow the lead of the Senate and pass a bill by August to reform the U.S. immigration system.

Speaking during a press conference in South Africa, Obama said there was more than enough time for lawmakers to finish work on the issue before their summer recess.

Immigration reform is one of the president's top domestic issues. The Senate recently passed a bill that would strengthen U.S. border security and provide a way for undocumented immigrants in the United States to obtain citizenship. Obama welcomed the passage of that bill.

Despite strong bipartisan support for the Senate bill, the leader of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, John Boehner, said the measure was dead on arrival in his chamber. Boehner said House Republicans would write their own bill.

Many House Republicans oppose citizenship for immigrants who are in the United States illegally, arguing law-breakers should not be rewarded. Any House Republican bill is expected to focus heavily on border security and on finding immigrants who have outstayed their visas.

But watering down the measure further may not be acceptable to Obama, who repeated on Saturday that he sees the Senate bill as far from perfect.

Even though congressional Republicans have been reluctant to cooperate with Obama, many see immigration reform as a political necessity to improve their standing with Hispanic voters, who overwhelming supported Obama in November's election.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Ed Stoddard)

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Comments (54)
selectanother wrote:
And we urge them to start deporting all of the illegals now.

Jun 29, 2013 7:42am EDT  --  Report as abuse
ctromley wrote:
I’ll bet dollars to donuts that this is what happens: The House will come up with a bill in reasonable time to demonstrate they are acting “responsibly”, but it will be so extreme and ridiculous that it doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell to actually pass.

The Republicans don’t care about passing immigration reform at all. They know it’s important, but hey also know that Obama wants it – and it’s far more important to them to deny Obama ANYTHING he wants, without regard for how much it might benefit the country.

Republicans have been called many things. Mean spirited, the party of NO, the list goes on. Frankly, I don’t know how much lower they can sink. Let’s just say it – they have become the party of [anal orifices]. You know what that means, and yes it’s ugly. I can think of no other term that really fits.

What’s truly sad is that we NEED a credible, responsible Republican party. I share many true Republican values. Democrats certainly don’t have all the answers. We NEED intelligent dialog. But what we have is idealistic extremists who will stop at nothing to fulfill their ideology. Think about it – if you have a terrorist who doesn’t kill anyone, but still resorts to hostage-taking and terrible collateral damage in support of their extreme ideology, you have a Republican politician.

Republicans aren’t bad. The Republican politicians we have in the House today are. It’s time to clean House.

Jun 29, 2013 8:07am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Rich_F wrote:
its hard to imagine how out of touch many of our elected leaders have become. instead of doing the will of the people they’ve become an entrenched privileged class whose voting direction can be bought by those who enrich their interests. just another example of the depravity of human kind.

Jun 29, 2013 8:17am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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