A speech that was originally intended to pressure congress to take up immigration reform was partly re-written to applaud a bipartisan proposal announced by 8 senators the day before. Obama says: “the good news is for the first time in many years republicans and democrats seem ready to tackle the problem.”
The president stopped short of endorsing the senate plan because, aides say, the legislation hasn’t been written. they say the principles mirror his own, though his critics aren’t so sure: the biggest difference is that Mr. Obama’s plan would give a faster path to citizenship for the 11 million people already in the country illegally.
Obama says: “yes, they broke the rules, they crossed the border illegally, maybe they overstayed their visas, those are the facts. Nobody disputes them. but these 11 million men and women are now here. Many of them have been here for years.”
But the path to citizenship is too fast for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.”The last time this country dealt will legal immigration, it legalized three million people and did nothing about enforcement. the result is we had 11 million people and 12 million at its peak in the country undocumented. we can’t repeat this mistake now.”
The senate plan calls for the border to be further strengthened before illegal immigrants are allowed to begin the process of paying fines and taxes, and coming out of the shadows. Just like under the president’s plan, they’d undergo background checks and go to the back of the admission line. But White House officials say the preconditions can’t be part of a fake process that puts off citizenship indefinitely. Illegal immigrants who were promised reform in Mr. Obama’s first term, hope this time it will happen.
“We have children born here, and we’ve had it rough and we don’t let others know about our problems because we are in fear of the consequences. this change will be significant for all of us.”
Another difference with the senate plan, is that Mr. Obama’s proposal would extend family immigration rights to gay couples. A provision his spokesman defended to reporters aboard air force one.
“The president has long believed that Americans with same sex partners from other countries should not be faced with the painful choice between staying with the person they love or staying in the country they love,” says Jay Carney, White House press secretary. Aides say as long as the senate plan stays close to the president’s principles he’s happy to let congress take the lead. They frankly don’t think republicans can sell a plan to the Latino community without him. For some republicans are concerned if Mr. Obama is tied too closely to the plan, they won’t be able to sell it to other republicans.