Obama urges action on immigration; suggests more piecemeal approach
September 17th, 2013
09:03 PM ET
1 year ago

Obama urges action on immigration; suggests more piecemeal approach

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama urged swift congressional approval of immigration reform on Tuesday, offering a potential opening to Republicans on the divisive presidential priority.

"Right now, everybody should be focused on making sure that that bill that's already passed out of the Senate hits the floor of– the House of Representatives. It's not as if the votes are not there. The votes are there," the president said in an interview with Telemundo.

"The only thing that's preventing it is– you know, Speaker Boehner's decided that– he doesn't wanna call it right now," he said.

Obama said he might be open to a House bill that takes a more piecemeal approach, as long as the legislation that reaches his desk "speaks to the central issues that have to be resolved" to fix the immigration system, from strong border security to making sure employers aren't taking advantage of undocumented workers.

Immigration reform would be a major achievement for Obama, especially with such sharp divisions in Congress, and is seen by many as crucial for Republican efforts to gain more support among Hispanics.

But time is limited this year on the legislative calendar, and looks even narrower with fights looming on federal spending, Obamacare and raising the nation’s debt ceiling, or borrowing authority, to pay its bills.

The Senate bill passed in June would allow undocumented workers to gain provisional legal status, but then requires a series of security and enforcement provisions to be in place before those immigrants can gain full citizenship.

The Senate is a non-starter for most House conservatives.

CNN White House Producer Becky Brittain contributed to this report.


Filed under: Immigration • President Obama
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. HenryMiller

    If it involves giving citizenship to illegals, no. Permanent legal residency is the best the illegals should be allowed to get.

    September 17, 2013 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  2. boungiorno

    u keep rambling on but saying nothing

    September 17, 2013 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  3. S. B. Stein

    Getting something done is better than nothing at this point.

    September 17, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  4. Richard Long

    "You can keep your doctor..."
    "You can keep your plan..."
    If you trusted And believed in Obamacare promises, illegal immigrant amnesty has even more promises not to believe in:
    "illegal immigrants will not get food stamps..."
    "Illegal immigrants will not get Obamacare..."

    Just as with the Syrian Debacle, Obama is unwilling to listen to the will of the people.

    September 17, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  5. Evergreen

    Too many senators and representatives have spent their time trying to do the President's job and have lost focus on doing their on jobs. Stop this gane of "lets wait and see" what the President is doing so we can complain about.

    September 17, 2013 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  6. qa

    no acitons...the illegal must learn to come hear ilegally...why does obama push this illegal acttivity.....the great dicatator

    September 18, 2013 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  7. qa

    obama must pass laws to stop the illegal working here....or all th immigraton bills in the world will do no good.

    September 18, 2013 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  8. no ones listening anymore

    America stopped listening to Obama about 2 years ago.

    September 18, 2013 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  9. Michael Benjamin

    This president is becoming the worst negotiator in U.S. history.

    September 18, 2013 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  10. J.V.Hodgson

    Grow up CNN and get real. The republicans have no intention of passing any immigration law or passing anything piecemeal.
    The latter does not help in a significant way with votes.
    Passing the senate bill is good for GDP, good for the economy, and gets Obama lots of votes in 2014 and 2016 and beyond.
    Get your pundit committees to tell me why I am wrong in terms of end results.
    Regards,
    Hodgson

    September 18, 2013 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  11. WOT

    When you see what I see in the food stores: one overflowing buggie and another person of American birth with two or three things in their hand makes one think, who is doing the thinking in Washington. When a person come to the county and can not take care of themselves then the country where they came from should be responsible for them. A man who doesn't take care of his own family is a fool. Our nation is taking care of other nations children and their own is going liken. And CNN why would you have VAGRA add on the BELIF BLOG!

    September 18, 2013 03:45 am at 3:45 am |
  12. Neutral Observer

    Actually I agree with this. The very first piece, before any illegal immigrants are made citizens would be to enforce harsh penalties on employers caught hiring illegal immigrants. The next step would be to secure the border. It need not be a "wall" per say, it could be in some places a big ditch or obstacles. Maybe even post our very own army down in the more active areas. Third piece would be to allow work visas (not citizenship) to hard workers. If all these pieces are implemented, then there will be no need to grant any amnesty for they will be all gone.

    September 18, 2013 05:39 am at 5:39 am |
  13. Richard Long

    Los Angeles currently spends $550 million on public safety for and $500 million on healthcare for 'undocumented immigrants' a year. Now add additional costs to that $1.5 billion, such as education and other tax-paid services, and then multiply it in a national scale.

    Obama needs to stop pandering to illegal immigrants and needs to start working for US citizens.

    September 18, 2013 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  14. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    The Guns Over People tea potty think that they can sit on it and obstruct like always. Their Wall Street masters are pulling their strings in the background about this and the debt ceiling.

    September 18, 2013 07:04 am at 7:04 am |