Obama begins immigration push with trip to Vegas
January 25th, 2013
03:06 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama begins immigration push with trip to Vegas

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama will head to Las Vegas on Tuesday to begin a push for immigration reform, an issue he failed to press for during his first four years in office but has called the top legislative priority of his second term.

In a statement, the White House said the president's goal was to "redouble the administration's efforts to work with Congress to fix the broken immigration system this year."

During his first term, Obama didn't push for legislative reforms to the country's immigration policies, though he did ease rules on deporting young immigrants. The president's decision allowed some young immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children to apply for a two-year deferral from deportation.

Obama made vows during the presidential campaign to make immigration reform a top priority for his second term, and was heavily backed by Latino voters in November's general election. Seventy-one percent of Latino voters backed Obama, compared to 26% who went for Republican Mitt Romney.

That poor showing among Latinos has led to a soul-searching for Republicans, who hope to make gains among the growing voting bloc in coming years. At this week's Republican National Committee Winter Meeting in Charlotte, the party's leaders have been actively discussing ways to make their positions more appealing to more groups of people, including Latinos.

During his inauguration address, Obama previewed his push for a better and fairer immigration system, saying that Americans' "journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity."

He's expected to lay out more specifics of his immigration plan during his State of the Union address on February 12.

Aides say the president's remarks in Las Vegas will touch on the blueprint he's detailed in the past: improving border security, cracking down on employers who hire undocumented workers, and creating a pathway to "earned" citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Ahead of the trip, the president met Friday with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus vowing to "move the debate forward," and warning that there was "no excuse for stalling or delay," the White House said in a statement following the closed door meeting.

The members of the CHC who met with Obama, all Democrats, expressed optimism following the sit-down.

"After today's meeting, it's clear that President Obama is determined to fix our long broken immigration system," Rep. Xavier Becerra , D-California, wrote. "The President expressed a great sense of urgency and that comprehensive immigration reform, including an earned path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, is his top legislative priority."

Filed under: Immigration • President Obama
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. spacecalculus

    “There are no facts, only interpretations.”
    ― Friedrich Nietzsche

    January 25, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  2. Jerubbaal

    Hit'em up O.

    January 25, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  3. otlset

    Obama panders for future Democratic votes...

    "Don't worry about those people making an effort to become citizens legally, they're chumps. In MY plan y'all leap to the front of the line, and don't forget the family back home! Vote Democrat now...si si puede!"

    January 25, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    A decade ago, most Hispanics I knew loved Republicans. Most voted Republican, too. Today, LOL. Most of them have found the Republican Party to be offensive, greedy, deceptive and several other things I know the moderators will not post.

    January 25, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  5. A Kickin` Donkey

    Interesting to see Republicans like Rubio trying to glom onto the Democratic Inspired Immigration Legislation. I hope Democrats are ruthless enough to not let the GOP lift their image on this issue. For DECADES Republicans have been OPENLY HOSTILE to latinos while none of their so-called leaders spoke up. In fact, in just this past election cycle the almost uniformly endosred Arizona SB 1070 that would have allowed brown people to be stopped, searched, and detained on the basis of "not looking American".

    A little window dressing now doesn`t change that.

    January 25, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  6. Ancient Texan

    Still on the campaign trail...gotta payback for all those votes.

    January 25, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  7. Ray E. (Georgia)

    I understand there are about 8 Million in the pipeline now to become citizens the legal way. The system is working now. Why would anyone say it is broken. And if the Liberal's are running the show who would want to come here anyway. No jobs.

    January 25, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    He struggles to find anywhere in Hispanic America, that is friendly to him, so he is forced to go to Vegas, and use his Chicago Mob connections to offer him a warm reception.

    January 25, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. Randy L

    Illegals....the word says it all.

    Laws mean nothing to this administration or Democrats, only power and control, even at the expense of America and Americans.

    January 25, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  10. Moose

    Mr pres, think hard how about creating some jobs for all this people you want to bring in ?? you went to Harvard ???
    did you flunk math ???

    January 25, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. kayla

    i guess that's what reagan did when he gave amnesty

    January 25, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "Laws mean nothing to this administration or Democrats, only power and control, even at the expense of America and Americans."

    Obama has more border patrol agents on the border than have ever been there in our history, has consistently and repeatedly set new records for the number of deportations each year and has reduced the NET annual illegal immigration problem to ZERO. Simply sticking your fingers in your ears and screaming "lalalalalalalalala" in the face of these facts does not alter reality to make your hivemind programming into truth.

    January 25, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |