Obama urges Republican-led House to pass immigration overhaul

WASHINGTON Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:50am EDT

Herbert Crooks (Panama) (R) says the Pledge of Allegiance after he swears in as United States citizen during a Special Naturalization Ceremony for 30 U.S. citizen candidates in the Cash Room at the U.S. Treasury Department in Washington, July 3, 2013. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Herbert Crooks (Panama) (R) says the Pledge of Allegiance after he swears in as United States citizen during a Special Naturalization Ceremony for 30 U.S. citizen candidates in the Cash Room at the U.S. Treasury Department in Washington, July 3, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama stepped into the fray in the U.S. Congress over immigration on Saturday, urging Americans to press the Republican-led House of Representatives to approve a plan that is at risk of stalling.

Obama used his weekly address to make his case for an immigration overhaul that was approved by the Democratic-controlled Senate and would create a pathway to citizenship for as many as 11 million people living illegally in the United States.

The president has been treading carefully on the issue so as not to antagonize Republicans who adamantly oppose the immigration plan but may find it politically necessary to help attract Hispanic voters in future elections.

"Now the House needs to act so I can sign common-sense immigration reform into law," Obama said. "And if you agree, tell your Representatives that now is the time. Call or email or post on their Facebook walls and ask them to get this done."

In his address, Obama seized on comments from his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, who this week threw his support behind the overhaul effort. Obama has often criticized Bush in the past but the two men are in agreement on this issue.

"If Democrats and Republicans - including President Bush and I - can agree on something, that's a pretty good place to start," Obama said.

The White House says immigration reform would boost the U.S. economy, contending in a report this week that it would help the economy grow by 3.3 percent by 2023 and reduce the budget deficit by $850 billion over 20 years.

"If we don't do anything to fix our broken system, our workforce will continue to shrink as baby boomers retire," Obama said.

Republicans in the House have vowed not to take up the Senate bill approved two weeks ago but instead want to work on immigration in a piecemeal fashion, with a priority on improved security along the U.S.-Mexican border.

House Speaker John Boehner has the tough job of convincing conservatives that the Senate approach is anything but amnesty for people who have broken the law after entering the United States illegally or overstaying their visas.

While the conservative opposition has put the legislation in doubt, proponents still see a chance that an immigration overhaul can be approved in the weeks and months ahead.

(Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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Comments (28)
sternhrad wrote:
Hopefully, the circular conservative firing squad will proceed as planned.

Jul 13, 2013 7:07am EDT  --  Report as abuse
urall5150 wrote:
Let me see…

If I follow your logic…..

I should pitch a tent in your yard. When the police come to arrest me for trespass I should parade my child that was with me in front of you and your neighbors and demand compassion. You would then be shamed into letting me stay and adding me onto the deed making me part owner of your property.

As, part owner of your property, I now want full benefit of such RIGHT. This includes living quarters, access to health care and a say in how OUR household is run.

I LIKE IT !!!!!!!!!!

What was your address ?

Jul 13, 2013 7:52am EDT  --  Report as abuse
urall5150 wrote:
Hey sternhard

Another great, mindless comment. thanks.

That’s what extremists do best on both sides. Your cousins, the conservatives happen to be right on this one, yet I never met an extremist that wasn’t willing to let pesky little facts get in the way of their position.

A wise man once said…those who ignore history are bound to repeat it.

This was done in the early eighties already. That worked out really well didn’t it?

Jul 13, 2013 8:02am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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