Obama calls for April debate on immigration bill - New York News

Obama calls for April debate on immigration bill

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  • Obama asks Central American leaders for help

    Obama asks Central American leaders for help

    President Barack Obama is telling Central American presidents that the United States and the wider region share responsibility to address an influx of minors and families who are crossing the southwest border of the U.S.
    President Barack Obama is telling Central American presidents that the United States and the wider region share responsibility to address an influx of minors and families who are crossing the southwest border of the U.S.
  • House votes to boost child tax credit for some

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    Friday, July 25 2014 3:23 PM EDT2014-07-25 19:23:26 GMT
    The House passed a bill Friday that would gradually increase the popular child tax credit and make it available to more families with higher incomes.
    More families with higher incomes could claim the popular child tax credit under a bill that won approval Friday in the House. But in a dispute that divides Republicans and Democrats, millions of the poorest low-income...
  • House, Senate advance competing border proposals

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    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:24 AM EDT2014-07-24 04:24:43 GMT
    Senate Democrats and House Republicans are moving separately to slash President Barack Obama's $3.7 billion emergency spending request for the southern border, but they're unlikely to end up with a deal...
    At an impasse on immigration, House Republicans and Senate Democrats advanced competing proposals Wednesday for dealing with tens of thousands of young migrants showing up at the southern border. Each side quickly ruled...

By JULIE PACE
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama challenged Congress Monday to "finish the job" of finalizing legislation aimed at overhauling the nation's immigration system.
 
With members of the House and Senate away on spring break, Obama made his most substantive remarks on the difficult issue in more than a month, saying he expects lawmakers to take up debate on a measure quickly and that he hopes to sign it into law as soon as possible.
 
"We've known for years that our immigration system is broken," the president said at a citizenship ceremony at the White House. "After avoiding the problem for years, the time has come to fix it once and for all."
 
The president spoke at a ceremony for 28 people from more than two dozen countries, including Afghanistan, China and Mexico. Thirteen of the new citizens are active duty service members in the U.S. military. The oath of allegiance was administered by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
 
While Obama has hosted citizenship ceremonies in previous years, Monday's event was laced with politics, given the ongoing debate over immigration reform on Capitol Hill. A bipartisan group of eight senators is close to finishing draft work on a bill that would dramatically reshape the U.S. immigration and employment landscape, putting 11 million illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship. The measure also would allow tens of thousands of new high- and low-skilled workers into the country.
 
The president applauded the congressional effort so far, but pressed lawmakers to wrap up their discussions quickly.
 
"We've got a lot of white papers and studies," Obama said. "We've just got to, at this point, work up the political courage to do what's required."
 
Immigration shot to the forefront of Obama's domestic agenda following the November election. Hispanics made up 10 percent of the electorate and overwhelmingly backed Obama, in part because of the tough stance on immigration that Republicans took during the campaign.
 
The election results spurred Republicans to tackle immigration reform for the first time since 2007 in an effort to increase the party's appeal to Hispanics and keep the GOP competitive in national elections.
 
Obama and the bipartisan Senate group are in lockstep on some key principles of a potential immigration bill, including the need for a pathway to citizenship, strengthening the legal immigration system, and cracking down on businesses that employ illegal immigrants. But they're at odds on other important areas, including whether to link border security with starting the citizenship pathway, which the Senate supports.
 
The White House has largely backed the Senate process, but says it has its own immigration bill ready if the debate on Capitol Hill stalls.
 
Obama touted the benefits of immigration at Monday's ceremony, saying it keeps the U.S. vibrant and prosperous.
 
"It is part of what makes this such a dynamic country," he said at the event in the White House East Room.
 
Among those being sworn in as a new citizen was Nikita Kirichenko, who came to the U.S. from Ukraine at age 11 and later joined the Air Force. The president also singled out Kingsley Elebo, who pursued a master's degree in information technology after coming to the U.S. from Nigeria at age 35. Elebo is now studying for his doctorate.
 
The president then read a quote from Elebo about what it means to become a citizen.
 
"What Kingsley said is, `What makes this country great is that if you're a citizen you're part of something bigger than yourself'," Obama said.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press modified.

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  • Friday Night Live: July 25, 2014

    Friday Night Live: July 25, 2014

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:31 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:31:59 GMT
    This is Fox 5's Friday Night Live, a weekly celebration of the end of the work week. All summer long, the Fox 5 team brings you the latest in entertainment, nightlife, food, and music in our area. In this jam-packed episode: QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, Stephen "Twitch" Boss, actress Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Michael Chernow and Chef Daniel Holzman of the Meatball Shop.
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  • G subway line shutting down for 5 weeks

    G subway line shutting down for 5 weeks

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:37 PM EDT2014-07-26 01:37:26 GMT
    Beginning Friday night, a portion of the G subway line that connects Brooklyn and Queens will be shut down for five weeks.
    The MTA says there will be no service between the Nassau Avenue station in Greenpoint and Court Square in Long Island City until Sept. 2.
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    The MTA says there will be no service between the Nassau Avenue station in Greenpoint and Court Square in Long Island City until Sept. 2.
  • The Big Idea

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:45 PM EDT2014-07-26 00:45:49 GMT
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
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