Obama says no to immigration without citizenship path
July 16th, 2013
07:51 PM ET
1 year ago

Obama says no to immigration without citizenship path

Updated at 9:52 a.m. ET on 7/17

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Tuesday an immigration reform bill without a path to citizenship for those in the United States illegally "does not make sense."

"It does not make sense to me, if we're gonna make this once-in-a-generation effort to finally fix the system, to leave the status of 11 million people or so unresolved," Obama said in an interview with a Telemundo-owned TV station in Denver.

Such a plan, he said, would run counter to American values.

"It's not who we are as Americans," Obama said, according to a transcript of the interview. "That's never been our tradition."

The president conducted interviews with four Spanish-language television stations Tuesday as part of the White House's push for immigration. While a comprehensive plan passed in the Senate in June, it has yet to be considered in the House, where leaders have advocated a piecemeal approach to reform of late. But the president warned against tackling the effort in stages, where there could be a "tendency I think to put off the hard stuff until the end."

"If you've eaten your dessert before you've eaten your meal, at least with my children, sometimes they don't end up eating their vegetables," Obama told a Telemundo-owned station in Dallas, according to the transcript. "We need to, I think, do this as a complete package."

Although the president acknowledged a bill is unlikely to pass before the August Congressional recess, he said he's hopeful a bill will pass by the fall.

But the politics of that, he said, are difficult, especially for Republican House members, many of whom are facing a difficult reality in their home districts.

"I know it's tough, I know the Republican House members are wrestling with it," Obama said. "Many of their constituents are suspicious of this, suspicious of what immigration might mean for their political future in some cases."

Obama said he believes the Senate-passed bill would clear the House if brought to the floor now, but put the onus on House Republicans who he said "still have to process this issue and discuss it further."

House Speaker John Boehner has said he will not allow a vote on the bill unless it is backed by the majority of the Republican conference. The president asked Republicans to show "leadership."

"If we can see some leadership from members of the Republican Party, some of whom I disagree with on a lot of issues, but you know who do seem to recognize this is the right thing to do for the country … eventually we'll get something passed out of the House," Obama said.


Filed under: Immigration • Latinos • President Obama • White House
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. Angry Young Man

    The unemployment rate amongst black youth is 42%. Three times as many people have given up and left the workforce as have gotten jobs in the "recovery" and Obama's bright idea is to import more low wage workers? It is madness!

    The guy is an idiot. He has been worse for the black community than anything since Jim Crow. But hey, as long as he can distract people by race baiting over skittles and hoodies and... Hey look! There goes a squirrel!

    He is also the greatest impediment to getting a deal since he has proven over and over again that he will just ignore any laws he does not agree with. No one trusts him because he is a tyrant.

    July 17, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  2. rs

    Only Republicans can think "Immigration Reform" without a path to citizenship is "reform".
    I guess that's a lot like having aid for the poor without "Food Stamps"; or, care for the elderly without Social Security: or, Heath Care reform without health insurance or Medicare or Medicaid.

    July 17, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  3. rs

    Tigas

    "Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this Presidency" – Obama

    So, we are going to reward criminal immigrants that blatantly violate the current immigration laws?
    _________________________________
    So, a 12 year plan complete with fines and fees plus the normal naturalization process isn't enough?

    July 17, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  4. Galactus93

    NO AMNESTY and no path to US citizenship for illegal aliens. If Obama wants to VETO an immigration bill then let him. I am sure that will go over well in the next election.

    July 17, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  5. paprowl

    we already have a path to citizenship , but you must come legal .

    July 17, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  6. just sayin

    "It does not make sense to me, if we're gonna make this once-in-a-generation effort to finally fix the system, to leave the status of 11 million people or so unresolved," Obama said in an interview with a Telemundo-owned TV station in Denver.
    ---

    problem is it doesn't fix the problem. another obama lie. even the cbo says 50-67% of the border crossings will still occur. what is going to happen to those 4-5 million?? amnesty and citizenship as well?? or is the government going to finally start enforcing our laws and arrest and deport them? if the democrats have their way, you can be sure it will be amnest and citizenship. after all, we can't be mean and cruel an denfocre our laws. we have to laugh and smile as our country is invaded yet again.

    July 17, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  7. Rockhead

    No immigration bill without a path to citizenship?

    Fine. No bill.

    Temporary/guest worker status, after a background check.
    No path to citizenship.
    No access to government largess (welfare, food stamps, etc.). Work or go home.
    One strike and you're out: Commit a crime, and deportation with no right to re-enter.

    July 17, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  8. it must be said

    Tigas
    -–
    "Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this Presidency" – Obama
    -–
    So, we are going to reward criminal immigrants that blatantly violate the current immigration laws?
    -–

    I can see you have trouble with liberal/leftist speak. Allow me to help you. Whatever is said, is exactly the opposite oif what they truly believe. It is a con game. Because if they said what they truly believe, nobody would vote for them.

    So Obama really believes. ""Concealment, deception and total disregard for the rule of law will be the touchstones of this Presidency" And match that to his actions on everything from Fast & Furious to Benghazi to the IRS scandal.

    July 17, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  9. Kamakazi Clyde

    Lets not forget that these people knew when they crossed that border that they were breaking the law! That makes them criminals! And if we dont secure that border we might be surprised at what comes over next! Chemical or worse biological attack!

    July 17, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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