July 11th, 2010
10:56 AM ET
10 years ago

Adviser: Obama wants GOP votes on immigration

(CNN) - Despite cynicism on both sides of the aisle that a broad overhaul of U.S. immigration laws will not happen this year, President Barack Obama continues to push for a bipartisan way forward on the issue, senior adviser David Axelrod said Sunday.

"On immigration, the reality is that the last time this debate occurred in the Senate there were 11 Republicans who joined in, and of course President Bush helped to lead the effort. And most Republicans are not willing to move forward now," Axelrod told CNN's "State of the Union."

Obama gave a major speech on the need for immigration reform earlier this month, but it failed to breathe life into the stalled immigration legislation. He met with members of Congress before and after his speech, and his position is that the bill can only pass with Republican help.

According to Axelrod, Obama told a bipartisan group last summer, "Look, we need to solve this problem, we need accountability in the system at the border. We need accountability among employers so they are not violating the law. We need the accountability on the part of the 11 million who are here illegally. We can do that, but we have to do it together."

Full story

Updated: 12:58 p.m.

Filed under: David Axelrod • Immigration • State of the Union
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. sasoc

    Obama may as well say "We need to destroy this country together; we Democrats can't do it alone, we need Republican help. Let's put aside partisan politics and rip this country apart!!"

    July 11, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  2. New Age Independant

    It's really very simple. Obama needs to own up to his promise of securing the border. His half-ass attempts to please everyone by doing the absolute minimum shows that he is only a politician. What we need here is a leader that will enforce current federal laws and secure our border, even if it means that he might lose some votes. It's time Obama stepped up and became that leader.

    July 11, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  3. ib

    Obama will need to illegal votes in 2012 to remain president if we still have a country by then. Reform he doesn't want reform he wants to say sorry they haven't been given the rights to vote in our elections and then give them the rights.

    July 11, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  4. annie s

    If Obama would just give up on this bipartisan nonsense, he & the Dems might not be in political trouble. Every important bill that has been passed since he took office has been watered down to near-ineffectiveness in an effort to be "bipartisan" – and then the Republicans vote "no" anyway.

    July 11, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  5. chris

    What will happen is the same thing that happens every time Obama tries to work with the Republicans. The Republicans will just sit there like spoiled, bratty children with their arms crossed and keep repeating "No, no, no!" and "My way or no way!". Obama will go ahead and include some previous GOP ideas anyway, however, every single Republican will still do their best to obstruct and oppose the plan. Then the Right will turn around and complain about how Obama is not being bipartisan.

    July 11, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  6. vic

    Immigration and Gay marriage our politician doesn’t want to talk because it will hurt their political carrier

    Sad part is they know these problems has to solve but most of our politician are very self-minded

    Good politicians struggling

    July 11, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  7. 8 Years of "Trickle Down" Economics has only left a wet spot on working America's shoes!


    From the same party who has publicly stated the party agenda is for President Obama and therefore America, to "fail"?

    MSNBC stated that the Obama administration is using auditors to help solve the illegal immigration problem. An apple grower was using illegal labor and had to fire about 500 workers, who then had cars, TV's etc. repossessed by the local merchants. No, ICE raids tearing families apart and no drama. The company will be fined if any are rehired.

    So, after the government mandated job posting time was over and no Americans had filled any of the "stolen" American jobs, the company had to come up with Plan B.

    What was Plan B you ask?

    Import 1,200 legal temporary workers from Haiti for 6 months to pick the apples.

    July 11, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. Willa-PA

    This country is already ripped apart. A third are lunatics, a third is the party of no and a third is trying but not getting anywhere because of the two thirds.

    July 11, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  9. Denny

    All of the bickering and debating is unnecessary. Both democrats and republicans need to admit their motives for allowing this country to become over-run with illegal immigrants and then finally do the right thing which is to heavily penalize the employers, cut off ALL entitlements to non-citizens, and no more anchor babies. All it takes is the American people to demand it (which we are doing but the politicians are not taking us seriously until we vote) and then a simple signature from the President will solve the problem. No more incentives to come here illegally. They all go back where they came from and get in line to enter this country legally.

    July 11, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  10. JJ in NY

    Triage is the most important response to any crisis. The nation has to stop the bleeding at the border first in order to save the nation. Once this dying patient (America) has been stabilized, then more comprehensive healing can take place.....and not before !

    July 11, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  11. American Joe

    There should be no place in this country that I can not go because of hostile foreigners, period. Yet these politicians invite that foreign leader into congress and give a standing ovation. Dems are the worst, but the Repubs are in their customary supine position.

    Vote all incumbents out! Repeatedly. Eradicate the cancer killing this country: bipartisan treasonous scum.

    July 11, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  12. bennie new york

    I don't know how immigration reform can't be bipartisan. It clearly needs to be done ASAP, and the GOP would block whatever the Dems create. Start working on it now, and if the GOP roadblocks the process, there's always the midterms to cool their heels.

    July 11, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  13. masgap

    Nothing is going to happen in this country as things stand now. The

    president needs more of a majority especially in the Senate. Vote

    Democratic and just say no to the party of no. The way they have been

    in denial is simply wrong for America. America please wake up!

    July 11, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  14. BILL, WI

    Oh right blame it all on the Repubs. Three quarters of the Dems did not vote for Kennedy-McCain or Kennedy-Kyl back in 2007. Even Sen Reid voted AGAINST the comprehensive immigration bill he SPONSORED. And Boxer, McKaskill, Rockefeller, Webb and Drogan joined him. 18 U.S.C. § 3041 authorizes certain local law enforcement officials to make arrests for violations of federal statutes. So then why do the Dems say that the enforcement of immigration laws is soley the responsibility of the feds. Only when both parties are honest can there be bipartisanship,

    July 11, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  15. mother and sister of soldiers

    If he wants to be bipartisan, why is the federal government persuing a law suit against Arizona? Why couldn't Obama just enforce the exisiting laws of our country? What ever happened to "legal" immigration? Laws are laws so enforce them regardless of the crime!
    All Obama and Holder are looking for are votes. All one has to do is look at the election demographics to see how he won an election.

    July 11, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  16. GI Joe

    If the red states enforced fining corporations and people that hire illegals, the illegals would NOT COME HERE.

    July 11, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  17. USN

    Bipartisanship ? On the democrat voter drive?

    July 11, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  18. USN

    If Arizona is being sued for trumping federal law ,,, Why aren't the sanctuary cites being sued also ?

    July 11, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  19. John Q.

    More finger pointing and propaganda. The fact is, the majority of this country by far wants that border fixed first. This regurgitated lip-service called "comprehensive reform" is just political double-talk for more of the same. A blanket amnesty won't solve it, just politics, and we will all be back here going over it all again until the rule of law is enforced. We have been here before with empty promises. You have to stop the bleeding before you can operate. Fix that border first, then talk of what to do next when that is done...

    July 11, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. Discernment


    In a single political swoop, the Democratic-led Congress could own the 2010-midterm by passing a common-sensible comprehensive non-amnesty immigration reform that:

    – (a.) – first clean up the mess left by President Reagan when he offered amnesty to illegal immigrants which led to millions more crossing the border,

    – (b.) – institute immigration reforms that press immigrants to come out of the shadows and adhere to U.S. Immigration laws,

    – (c.) – hold businesses accountable for hiring illegal immigrants as slave labor without health benefits,

    – (d.) – provide current illegal immigrants a 'simplistic & no-fear' method to U.S. citizenship,

    If the Democrats could do that, their majority in the Senate and the House would remain the same or increase slightly. But first the Democrats need to get a backbone and grow a pair.

    July 11, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. kevin

    Oh, but the RECOVERY SUMMER (aka CAMPAIGN-LIKE-YOU'RE-RUNNING-FOR-PRESIDENT-AGAIN SUMMER) is here, no worries, by Labor Day everything will be fine. Obama said so – IT MUST BE TRUE!

    July 11, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  22. NVa Native

    President Obama needs to delete the word bipartisan from his vocabulary; you can't clap with one hand tied behind you back. Which is what the Repubs have been trying to do since the day our President was elected.
    Obama needs to ignore all the foolishness and un-patriotic actions of the Repubs and their followers. These clans have proven that they will never get honest and accept responsibility for the actions or motives of their politicians or themselves.
    The current Repub/tea-baggers/neo-cons will never work for the benefit of all Americans; they only care about their own narrow interests.
    Obama has proven himself very capable, intellectually and physically, to do the job he was elected (by an overwhelming majority) to do.
    Obama just needs do what he needs to do and ignore the whining of the mindless minority feeding off of fear and hate. They are the ones who put us in the mess we are in now, and they will never be of any help if they can’t even acknowledge that reality.

    July 11, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  23. k

    I know where the President is coming from when he says we saw this movie and how it ended regarding 8 years of Republican leadership. The Republicans put us in this mess America is in. The Party of No always holds up obstacles for the Administration without solutions. There are more people protecting our borders than ever before but yet the Republicans keep pounding the pavement saying we need more troops and border guards. Does Congress not understand what they have passed.

    July 11, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  24. katiec

    Even though our president realizes the republicans primary goal is to destroy him, regardless of consequences, he is still trying to get them to do what they are elected to do and that is represent our country and us.
    Unfortunately, they will not comply and will continue to try and lead our country to further destruction. Their undying love and support for Wall St over our survival, irresponsible, hypocritical, destructive actions have made them a disgrace to our political system and our country.

    July 11, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  25. michael MN

    I have let my reps know that any vote to legalize illegals will lose my vote 100% and Obama will be a one term president if he keeps pushing this

    July 11, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
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