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(Image source: The White House flickr)
BY ELIZABETH HAGEDORN ANCHOR CHRISTIAN BRYANT
Amid discussions of gun control and the debt ceiling, President Obama is intent on making
sure immigration reform stays in the spotlight during in his second term.
officials tell The New York Times, the president will make a push for an overhaul of immigration
reform, and in what will most likely be the most controversial aspect of the proposal
-- a path to citizenship for the majority of undocumented workers.
… writes the
New York Times,
“The White House will argue that its solution for illegal immigrants
is not an amnesty, as many critics insist, because it would include fines, the payment
of back taxes and other hurdles for illegal immigrants who would obtain legal status.”
December, Obama told NBC’s David Gregory that immigration was atop his second term
agenda, comparable to push for health care reform during his first. [Video via NBC]
advocates are urging the president to act quickly, as a delay could result in reform
being sidelined for other issues, reports The Hill.
Earlier this week, White House
Press Secretary Jay Carney hinted that the president could outline his immigration plans
in his February State of the Union address.
"And immigration reform, comprehensive immigration
reform, is a very high priority of the president's. But I don't want to get ahead of the speech."
[Video via The White House/YouTube]
While it hasn’t escaped Republicans that Obama
won his second term with more than 70 percent of the Hispanic vote, some argue that immigration
reform would best be served in a piecemeal approach -- rather than as one comprehensive
Florida Senator Marco Rubio told the Wall Street Journal that his own plan
would allow illegal immigrants to receive temporary status before applying for permanent
residency, but stressed that his plan did not include quote, “blanket amnesty or a
special pathway to citizenship.”
But as Slate’s David Weigel tells MSNBC, while
Republicans do seem more willing to consider immigration reform this time around, it’s
unclear how vocal the minority of Republicans opposed to any reform will be moving forward.
you read stories about who might support this, you don’t see many house Republicans being
quoted. Marco Rubio is on their side for a couple of pieces for this, but Senate Republicans,
as with the fiscal cliff deal are going to be in the position of approving what can come
through the House.”
A report last week by the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute
found that the Obama Administration spent nearly $18 billion on immigration enforcement
last year -- more than the every other law enforcement agency combined.