Obama makes new pitch for immigration reform
May 13th, 2014
11:56 AM ET
5 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. Rudy NYC

    Deportation wrote:

    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.

    That would mean that in a one-to-one comparison with the final years of the Bush administration, deportations of those same people under Mr. Obama had actually fallen, according to immigration analysts who have studied the data.
    -----------------------------------–
    You overlook the obvious. One, the Great Recession saw a decline in the number of illegal entries into the U.S. because of the high unemployment. Two, conservatives make the constant argument that we need to better enforce the border, and you have just demonstrated that the there is better enforcement at the border.

    May 13, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  2. Lizzie

    Better hurry and pass this bill, November elections are just around the corner.

    May 13, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  3. Bill from GA

    As long as we reward those who enter or remain in our country illegally, they will continue to do so. There is no shortage to people willing to come here legally. Why reward those who have no respect for our laws above those who play by the rules?

    May 13, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  4. Tommy G

    Warren
    Tommy G
    "their 8 year record of failure and disaster" Are you living under a rock?? Dow, NASDAQ and S&P all at record highs.
    -–

    Dumb people that think the stock market is the same as the economy amaze me. Did you get past 3rd grade in school?

    Still record unemployment for 5 going on 6 years now. Record food stamp rolls, record low labor participation, still massive deficits even after raising taxes trillions.

    May 13, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  5. Silence DoGood

    @Chris-E...al
    Why would any republican work with the dems on anything look at all the job killers they they have birthed out of that wore out hole they have made for us all us to fall in ?
    --------------–
    Why would republicans work with dems on anything since many of them took the Great Holy Vow to Say NO to anything Obama wants. It has nothing to with common sense or politics. Just NO. Like a 5 year old.

    May 13, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  6. Silence DoGood

    @Tommy G
    "The ONLY "reform" we need is a federal government that does its job and enforces the laws of this country. ......."
    ------------
    So you are in favor of ObamaCare? That is a law.

    May 13, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Chris-E...al

    Why would any republican work with the dems on anything look at all the job killers they they have birthed out of that wore out hole they have made for us all us to fall in ?
    -------------------------------–
    "Hodor."

    FIFY.

    If Democrats are killing jobs, then we have we had 50 straight months of private sector jobs growth? Hmm. If Republicans are such job creators, then why did the Bush administration allow 50,000 manufacturing facilities to close up and ship themselves overseas? Why did the Bush administration finish with a new loss of jobs? Hmm. Why am I even asking you this when I know what your answer is going to be? "Hodor."

    May 13, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  8. Chris-E...al

    Its better to do nothing than to make a mess out of something important to americans just look what the dems did to the best healthcare in the world and and if that was'nt enough they put a cherry on top to destroy the 40 hr work week . But few are going to be able to afford the not so ACa for its cost is expected to rise and rise just like that old hot air the dems treat and try to trick us with on a daily basis to no end . We are done ! cooked .

    May 13, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. Vence

    No immigration reform from GOP. No Hispanic vote for GOP. Period!

    May 13, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  10. J Perez

    The reform will not take place because the Republican party has abused and sullied minorities forever and they know that any alien given the right to vote will vote against the elitists and bigots and pompous holier than thou jerks that control the republican party.

    Another reason it will not happen is the republican house controlled by mid western conservatives and southern Baptists will not work and have not made one effort to work with a BLACK PRESIDENT and that is half the political problems in America right now.

    May 13, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    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.
    -------------------------------–
    On Wednesday, President Obama will be up in my neck of the woods, pushing for infrastructure spending and jobs creation. He will visit the site of a new interstate highway bridge across the Hudson River. It's just getting started.

    May 13, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "Deportation: More Obama LIES

    Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson acknowledged Tuesday that his department’s deportation numbers are now mostly made up of illegal immigrants "
    ===
    Blah blah blah. You miss the point entirely (and on purpose, no doubt). Obama's administration has been issuing formal "removal" orders even for those caught at the border, which comes with the additional penalty of being banned from entering the US for several years and the potential for severe sanctions if caught violating the formal removal order by living in the country later. This is in contract to "returns," which is when they just send them home without the formal 'removal" order. There have been more formal REMOVALS each year under Obama than any POTUS in history.

    Moreover, you also miss the point Obama has been increasing the number of people arrested on the border...and then REMOVING them. Baked into your attempts to manipulate the numbers and pretend Obama is somehow cheating is actually an admission that Obama is patrolling the border more thoroughly than the past few presidents....and then issuing formal removal orders for them so they face the ban from the US for several years, etc.

    If you want to talk about who played games to change the numbers, Bush in fiscal year 2007 issued an executive order that changed the rules so that "voluntary returns" were also counted, not just formal "removals" as it was before. Culberson's (R-TX) statement that “I know that the Bush administration never counted folks that were removed by the Border Patrol as being deported by ICE" is misleading becauase (a) Bush generally just "returned" Mexicans found on the border, which can be done via Border Patrol, (b) non-Mexicans found crossing the border MUST be handled by ICE and (c) Obama has issued more formal "removal' orders for BOTH Mexicans and non-Mexicans found on the border....the numbers of which have been heavily declining over the past several years anyway because of the recession, etc.

    What's going on here? Obama's been enforcing the border cases far more stringently than Bush did, particularly on the border. Immigration is down overall anyway, which lends itself to lower overall numbers, whether it is formal "removals" or "returns". And the GOP/Teatrolls are desperate to find some way of manipulating the perception of the numbers to undercut what Obama has done...but they're not being honest, are making a whole lot of assumptions and are not paying attention to the details at all, just jumping all over something that only appears to be an issue until you look under the hood.

    May 13, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  13. much thunder...little rain

    obama cant be trusted on immigration or anything else

    May 13, 2014 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  14. Gunderson

    Chaffed Out,
    Stop shoving Bible Mumbo Jumbo at us. American people not too bright but they ain't stupid. What Obama is selling is Amnesty hands down. There will be no Amnesty granted. Those here illegally will have to return to their own country and get in line. Millions already are. Face it, Obama is out of Aces, the Bloom is off the Rose. End of Story.

    May 13, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  15. just asking

    sonny chapman
    Hey Just Asking-If the Words of Jesus cause you to reexamine your conscious or faith-'Mission Accomplished"!
    -–

    why would any of the rubbish you post cause me, or anybody for that matter, to do this? don't flatter yourself. your posts are about as weak and senseless as they come.

    May 13, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  16. Warren

    Tommy G
    Warren
    Tommy G
    "their 8 year record of failure and disaster" Are you living under a rock?? Dow, NASDAQ and S&P all at record highs.
    -–

    Dumb people that think the stock market is the same as the economy amaze me. Did you get past 3rd grade in school?

    Are you 10 years old??

    Still record unemployment for 5 going on 6 years now. Record food stamp rolls, record low labor participation, still massive deficits even after raising taxes trillions.

    Yes still record low unemployment due to Republicans not doing their jobs.. Remember JOBS JOBS JOBS. But it is getting better without the help of congress.
    2009 9.3
    2010 9.6
    2011 8.9
    2012 8.1
    2013 7.4

    And when were taxes raised?

    May 13, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  17. sandyc

    First SHUT DOWN OUR BORDERS. Then negotiate some sort of immigration reform.

    Borders first, discussion later.

    May 13, 2014 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  18. Tommy G

    Silence DoGood

    @Tommy G
    "The ONLY "reform" we need is a federal government that does its job and enforces the laws of this country. ......."
    ----
    So you are in favor of ObamaCare? That is a law.
    ----

    Obamacare? Also not enforced as written in the law. Thank you for making my point about the Obama admnstrations complete lack of enforcement from immigration to Obamacare. Why would any new laws be any different?

    So all the lefties can answer this question. Say the DO pass a "comprehensive immigration reform" bill. Will all the Democrats and lefties agree to deport each and every illegal alien caught here, without exception? (crickets)

    May 13, 2014 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  19. spike1234

    The final screwing of the middle class begins. Let's import more workers that we don't need. All politicians need to be reminded that they are supposed to represent the American people, not lawbreaking foreigners.

    May 13, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  20. 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?

    May 13, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  21. 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.

    The only truth you speak is that the USA economy and job market sucks so much during Obama's reign of economic terror, that fewer illegals are trying to come here. Now there is a great campaign slogan for you.

    May 13, 2014 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  22. Thomas

    @sonny chapman
    When the Chamber of Commerce & the Gospels of Jesus agree, DO IT ! The Moral Thing to do is almost always the Smart Thing to do. It's called, Following the Ways of the Lord.

    =========
    Since when has the US Chamber of Commerce stood for moral judgment $$$$$$$$$$$ ?

    May 13, 2014 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  23. Silence DoGood

    @Tommy G
    Silence DoGood

    @Tommy G
    "The ONLY "reform" we need is a federal government that does its job and enforces the laws of this country. ......."
    --
    So you are in favor of ObamaCare? That is a law.
    --

    Obamacare? Also not enforced as written in the law. Thank you for making my point about the Obama admnstrations complete lack of enforcement from immigration to Obamacare. Why would any new laws be any different?

    So all the lefties can answer this question. Say the DO pass a "comprehensive immigration reform" bill. Will all the Democrats and lefties agree to deport each and every illegal alien caught here, without exception? (crickets)
    ----------
    The GOP called for and even put up measures to delay parts of the ACA. He was giving the breaks the GOP was calling for! Oh I forgot, whatever Obama does is wrong even is the GOP originally wanted it. Why do you think Obama quipped that he should come out agaoinst what he really wants so that the GOP will endorse the opposite. It is not about policy – it is about NO.

    May 13, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  24. Silence DoGood

    @Gunderson
    Chaffed Out,
    Stop shoving Bible Mumbo Jumbo at us.
    --------
    Yeah only the right wing extremists can use the Bible out of context for their agenda!

    May 13, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  25. sonny chapman

    Hey Just Asking-Many of my posts come from the Four Gospels. The Words of the Four Gospels come from the Father. Take it up w/Him.

    May 13, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
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