Obama expects immigration reform legislation later this year

He looks forward to it being passed in 2010. Such from his press conference in Guadalajara, Mexico today. Here is the article from the Washington Post:
By William Branigin, Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 10, 2009
President Obama, attending a North American summit with the leaders of Mexico and Canada, vowed Monday to pursue comprehensive U.S. immigration reform later this year with a view to enacting legislation in 2010 that would provide a “pathway to citizenship” for millions of illegal immigrants in the United States.
In a joint news conference in Guadalajara with Mexican President Felipe Calderón and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Obama also pledged continued support for Mexico’s war on powerful drug cartels, saying he was confident the battle could be waged “in a way consistent with human rights.”
In their two-day summit, the three leaders said they discussed those and other topics, including trade, a recent coup in Honduras and efforts to combat the spread of the H1N1 swine flu pandemic.
Questioned about criticism in Latin America that the United States has not been doing enough to support restoration of the ousted president of Honduras, Obama pushed back, accusing such critics of hypocrisy.
“The same critics who say that the United States has not intervened enough in Honduras are the same people who say that we’re always intervening and Yankees need to get out of Latin America,” Obama said. “You can’t have it both ways. . . . If these critics think that it’s appropriate for us to suddenly act in ways that in every other context they consider inappropriate, then I think what that indicates is that maybe there’s some hypocrisy involved in their approach to U.S.-Latin America relations that certainly is not going to guide my administration’s policies.”
Asked about the prospects for immigration reform in view of the blows to his administration over health care legislation and mid-term elections next year, Obama dismissed the idea that the elections would play a role, saying he would not act “on short-term political calculations.”
He said he regards immigration reform as being in the long-term interest of the United States. “We have a broken immigration system,” he said. “Nobody denies it.” Continuing on the current path means tensions with Mexico, danger for those trying to cross into the United States illegally, unfairness for those trying to immigrate legally, exploitation by unscrupulous employers, the depression of U.S. wages and other ills, Obama said.
“It’s not fair, and it’s not right, and we’re going to change it,” he said. But he said it was “very important for us to sequence these big initiatives in way where they don’t all just crash at the same time.” He said meetings have begun on immigration reform among House and Senate Democrats and Republicans, with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano coordinating the discussions.
“I would anticipate that before the year is out we will have draft legislation, along with sponsors potentially in the House and Senate, who are ready to move this forward,” Obama said. Then, next year, “we should be in a position to start acting,” he said, although he acknowledged that “this is going to be difficult.” The overhaul would give illegal immigrants in the United States the opportunity “to achieve a pathway to citizenship so that they don’t have to live in the shadows,” Obama said. “So I’m confident we can get it done.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *