‘Nobody will get everything’ in immigration reform, Obama says
June 8th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
10 months ago

‘Nobody will get everything’ in immigration reform, Obama says

(CNN) – The immigration reform measure senators will begin debating next week isn’t a perfect fix to the nation’s broken system, President Barack Obama said Saturday, but it does solve many of the flaws currently hampering the process.

Speaking in his weekly address, Obama said the measure devised by the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” was consistent with his principles, and should move forward in the Senate without delays from Republicans.

“The bill before the Senate isn’t perfect. It’s a compromise. Nobody will get everything they want – not Democrats, not Republicans, not me,” Obama said.

The most heated debate on the Senate’s immigration overhaul centers on its pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, which many Republicans have said amounts to amnesty.

In the proposed law, the pathway would be contingent on bolstering border security, though there is still contention on how that ramp-up would be enacted.

Obama stressed in his address that thanks to new technologies, illegal border crossings are down, and that new enforcement initiatives have targeted dangerous immigrants in the United States illegally.

He also touted his decision last year to allow some young undocumented immigrants to defer deportation by two years, which House Republicans voted to scrap earlier this week.

The House measure is expected to die in the Senate.

But those piecemeal changes to the system aren’t enough, Obama said, calling on senators to work together toward passing an immigration bill soon.

“There is no reason that Congress can’t work together to send a bill to my desk by the end of the summer,” Obama said. “We know the opponents of reform are going to do everything they can to prevent that. They’ll try to stoke fear and create division. They’ll try to play politics with an issue that the vast majority of Americans want addressed. And if they succeed, we will lose this chance to finally fix an immigration system that is badly broken.”

While the Senate’s immigration bill has garnered bipartisan support in that chamber, many House Republicans have said the measure won’t pass muster on their side of Capitol Hill, where a separate bipartisan group has been working on its own version of immigration reform.

This week, a key member of the House group, GOP Rep. Raul Labrador, said he was leaving negotiations, citing policy disagreements.

Even in the Senate, approval of comprehensive immigration reform is far from certain.

A key Republican player, Sen. Marco Rubio, said he may vote against the bill he helped draft if certain changes that he’s proposed aren’t added.


Filed under: Immigration • President Obama
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. @RI_Roger

    What principals has the President articulated to the American people or has recently demonstrated that would make us trust his leadership and guidance. I, personally, will scrutinize the senate bill and make my own educated decision based on my VALUES and Principles. One of my guiding principles is that the border be secured based on bi-partisan senate/congress verification that it is 80% complete before any pathway can be STARTED. Anything less is a NO Vote.

    Now Mr. President, what are your guiding principles, Please go on the record.

    June 8, 2013 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  2. Kingsley egboro

    I think the United States should work out a modality that will prevent illegal entry across th border, but should also come up with programmes that will attract foreigners and make them citizen. This will help them shore up the population of the country thereby curtailing China's threat which is largely infuenced by her population.

    June 8, 2013 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  3. Gurgyl

    How about J1, H1-B visa guys, there are too many people are coming from china, India. I do not know who gets what. These IT guys from India are too many. I don't know which direction INS is going. Be they IT OR DOCTORS, for sure we need to cut numbers.

    June 8, 2013 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  4. NorCalMojo

    It's just another amnesty. They'll get benefits until they get citizenship. No one wants it, but we all know it's going to be shoved down our throats.

    They'll do the same thing they did with the 1986 amnesty. Give them citizenship and refuse to enforce the laws.

    June 8, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  5. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Can't get EVERYTHING they want?!?! Well there goes any Republican support....

    June 8, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  6. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Well,
    It will be easier to get a flight to the moon than passing this bill. It is going to get talked to death. If in the initerm that it does get passed, you can be sure Border Security will get lip service but not much else. And in 20 years there will be another 20 million here wanting amnesty. You vote for the left wing flapjaws, and they will cut your throat. Count on it.

    June 8, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  7. Larry L

    @Kingsley egboro

    I think the United States should work out a modality that will prevent illegal entry across th border, but should also come up with programmes that will attract foreigners and make them citizen. This will help them shore up the population of the country thereby curtailing China's threat which is largely infuenced by her population.
    ==================
    The U.S. doesn't had a problem maintaining it's population. We have a problem with a shrinking middle-class, the threat from global climate change, the spiraling cost of healthcare, a crumbling infrastructure, an enormous defense budget, an oil-based economy, and a completely inefective Congress.

    June 8, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  8. Larry L

    @@RI_Roger

    "One of my guiding principles is that the border be secured based on bi-partisan senate/congress verification that it is 80% complete before any pathway can be STARTED."
    ======================
    The Berlin Wall was as secure as border get – yet people still found ways to cross. The only way to stop illegal immigration is to remove the financial incentive. A sophisticated identification card, required for ALL monetary transactions would go a long way towards solving the problem. The same card could have work visa paramaters coded into the card to include expiration dates or cards rejected for legal of financial reasons. The same card could allow/record payment of income taxes or healthcare insurance fees.

    June 8, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  9. Dan5404

    The Republicans really don't want an immigration bill. Rubio backed one originally because he wanted to pretend he really is a compromiser, setting himself apart from the ultra right wing GOP. He actually hasn't changed his right-wing politics, and will vote against his own bill if it doesn't suit the good ol' boys on the right. More of the same. Discrimination, regression and another nail in the coffin of the GOP in the long run. Too bad it's such a slow process before the Civil War mentality is diffused.

    June 8, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  10. rs

    If the GOP get their way, nobody will get anything.

    June 8, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  11. just sayin

    obama and the democrats simply cannot be trusted to keep their word and enforce the laws and secure the borders. they lied and reneged in the 80s and they will lie and renege now. you simply cannot trust them to keep their word, especially after they get what they want, which always happens first. don't let them sucker the country again with another amnesty.

    June 8, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  12. wigglwagon

    If the illegal aliens get to keep the jobs, American workers will lose everything that counts.

    If illegal aliens get to keep the freebies, American taxpayers will not get anything from the so called reform.

    June 8, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  13. Data Driven

    "Now Mr. President, what are your guiding principles, Please go on the record."

    He has. Stop pretending you're interested in what those principles are.

    June 8, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |