Obama says immigration overhaul possible in 2013
ReutersWASHINGTON -- U.S. President Barack Obama rejected Republican complaints about his proposals for overhauling the U.S. immigration system on Wednesday and said he believed it was possible to get a deal done by the end of the year if not in the first half.
February 1, 2013, 2:32 pm TWN
Obama gave an interview to a pair of Spanish-language U.S. television networks to promote his proposals for giving 11 million illegal immigrants a pathway to U.S. citizenship after a bipartisan Gang of Eight senators offered its own plan.
“I'm hopeful that this can get done, and I don't think that it should take many, many months. I think this is something we should be able to get done certainly this year and I'd like to see if we could get it done sooner, in the first half of the year if possible,” Obama told Telemundo.
If Congress delays, he said, “I've got a bill drafted, we've got language” ready to offer Capitol Hill.
Obama offered his own principles on immigration at an appearance in Las Vegas on Tuesday. He pushed for a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants that is faster than the one the Senate group proposed.
Rather than emphasize border security first as the senators want, he would let undocumented immigrants get on a path to citizenship if they undergo national security and criminal background checks, pay penalties, learn English and get behind those foreigners seeking to immigrate legally.