Obama makes new pitch for immigration reform
May 13th, 2014
11:56 AM ET
7 months ago

Obama makes new pitch for immigration reform

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama renewed his push on Tuesday for House Republicans to approve most of what exists in the Senate-passed version of comprehensive immigration reform. But he signaled a willingness to compromise.

At an event with law enforcement officials, Obama said he was "not hell-bent" on seeing every word from the Senate version in any immigration bill that might reach his desk.

"But there are core principles that we have to get done," Obama added, noting his support for much of what the Senate approved last year, 68-32.

The bill "would give law enforcement a better idea of who's in the country," he said. "Public opinion is on our side."

Accusing a handful of House Republicans of "blocking" passage of a final reform bill, Obama said he wants to negotiate.

"If they've got ideas, I'm happy to talk," he said.

A White House official noted the Senate measure has the support of both Republicans and Democrats, as well as well-respected figures from business, religious and law enforcement communities.

Tuesday's meeting marked the first time Obama has sat down with law enforcement to make the case for immigration reform, the official said.

Obama aides believe House Speaker John Boehner has not closed the door on the Senate measure. So Obama is "still pushing," the official said.

The Senate approved the immigration reform bill last June, that was pushed by a bipartisan “Gang of Eight.”

The measure, which stalled in the House, includes an eventual pathway to citizenship for most undocumented immigrants, which is strongly opposed by many conservatives.

On Monday, Boehner acknowledged that he still faces resistance from a group of Republicans.

"I need to work with my colleagues and bring them along. And while I feel strongly about the need to deal with immigration reform, I have got to bring these members along," Boehner said at an event hosted by the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.

But a senior House Republican told CNN on Tuesday that "Speaker Boehner has been clearer than crystal many, many times that we are not taking up the 'Gang' bill, and we're not going to Conference on the Senate 'Gang' bill. It's deader than disco."

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue said Monday that the GOP shouldn't field a presidential candidate in the next race if Congress fails to pass immigration reform this year.

"If the Republicans don't do it, they shouldn't bother to run a candidate in 2016," Donohue said, in an attention grabbing moment.

The chamber, which represents business interests, has made immigration reform a focus.

Donohue added that "we're absolutely crazy if we don't take advantage of having passed an immigration bill out of the Senate because going back and doing it again might be harder."

CNN's Deirdre Walsh and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: 2014 • Immigration • John Boehner • President Obama
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Liberal Garbage

    Exactly what we need is more faliing liberal policies. Sounds like a great idea.

    May 13, 2014 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  2. Fair is Fair

    Bill from GA

    Allegedly, the 'illegal Immigrants' are here doing jobs 'Americans' won't do.

    Who is going to do these jobs when the 'illegal Immigrants' can compete on an even basis with our current middle class, and with those here legally who aspire to middle class but have yet to get there?

    Also, if the 'illegal Immigrants' are denied the ability to do these jobs, by enforcement of our current laws, might these jobs then pay enough to attract legal workers, as they once did? Or are current American workers just to lazy? After all, if they can make $15 an hour flipping burgers (after the minimum wage hike), why do hard, dirty work like construction?
    --------–
    I asked the exact same questions a few weeks ago... the crickets were deafening.

    May 13, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Deportation: More Obama LIES

    Why do the lefty clowns in here continue to lie and mislead people? Where is your proof that Obama is catching and returning more people at the borders? In one breath you claim fewer are coming and then say they are catching more.
    -------------------------------------
    It's in your own post. Read it.

    "But Republican critics have argued those deportation numbers are artificially inflated because more than half of those being deported were new arrivals, caught at the border by the U.S. Border Patrol. Previous administrations primarily counted only those caught in the interior of the U.S. by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement."

    May 13, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    He just wants total control of America. That's his entire purpose and goal.......to become a dictator in reality.

    May 13, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. Deportation: More Obama LIES

    Rudy NYC
    Deportation: More Obama LIES
    ---
    Why do the lefty clowns in here continue to lie and mislead people? Where is your proof that Obama is catching and returning more people at the borders? In one breath you claim fewer are coming and then say they are catching more.
    -------------
    It's in your own post. Read it.
    "But Republican critics have argued those deportation numbers are artificially inflated because more than half of those being deported were new arrivals, caught at the border by the U.S. Border Patrol. Previous administrations primarily counted only those caught in the interior of the U.S. by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement."
    --

    Where does it say that the Obama adminstration is catching more people than Bush did at the border? Is says no such thing. It says the Obama adminstration is now misusing the numbers as they have been used in the past. Deportations NEVER included people caught at the border. Now Obama uses those numbers to lie and decieve people into believing he is deporting more people when he is actually deporting FAR LESS.

    If the number of border turnbacks were to be included in the Bush years as deportations, then the numbers of "deportations" (new Obama deceitful definition) back then would have been far higher.

    May 13, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
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