Obama plans immigration push after fiscal crisis ends

WASHINGTON Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:44am EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a Medal of Honor ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, October 15, 2013. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a Medal of Honor ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, October 15, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that stalled immigration reform would be a top priority once the fiscal crisis has been resolved.

"Once that's done, you know, the day after, I'm going to be pushing to say, call a vote on immigration reform," he told the Los Angeles affiliate of Spanish-language television network Univision.

The president's domestic agenda has been sidetracked in his second term by one problem after another. As he coped with the revelation of domestic surveillance programs, chemical weapons in Syria, and a fiscal battle that has shut down the U.S. government and threatens a debt default, immigration has been relegated to the back burner.

But Obama, who won re-election with overwhelming Hispanic backing, had hoped to make reforms easing the plight of the 11 million immigrants who are in the United States illegally.

In June, the Senate passed an immigration overhaul, but House of Representatives Republicans are divided over the granting of legal status to those in the country illegally, a step many see as rewarding lawbreakers.

Although the president had sought comprehensive reform, he said last month he would be open to the House taking a piece-by-piece approach if that would get the job done.

Obama on Tuesday blamed House Speaker John Boehner for preventing immigration from coming up for a vote.

"We had a very strong Democratic and Republican vote in the Senate," he said. "The only thing right now that's holding it back is, again, Speaker Boehner not willing to call the bill on the floor of the House of Representatives."

Boehner said the sweeping Senate bill would not pass the House and has said the lower chamber would tackle the issue in smaller sections that would include stricter provisions on border protection.

(Reporting By Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Stacey Joyce)

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Comments (27)
Jimjolly wrote:
Did he say when he would address the 20 million unemployed legal American citizens? I didn’t think so.

Oct 15, 2013 12:47am EDT  --  Report as abuse
LoveJoyOne wrote:

Yes, you have clearly demonstrated to everyone that you are just on of the sheep: one of the uneducated, brainwashed, racist sheep who are the fodder of the Tea Party millionaires.

By and large, foolish Tea Party followers are the uneducated, the unintelligent, the inexperienced, the unskilled and the criminal, to use your words.

Oct 16, 2013 4:46am EDT  --  Report as abuse
ajsfca wrote:
Coming from an immigrant family myself, I do find it curios and puzzling that President Obama says next nothing to promote and encourage legal immigration. Instead, he just keeps pandering to those who are in in the U.S. illegally.

Oct 16, 2013 8:58am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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