Obama: Immigration bill could pass by summer - New York News

Obama: Immigration bill could pass by summer

Posted: Updated:
  • ImmigrationMore>>

  • Some Arivaca residents upset over Border Patrol checkpoint

    Some Arivaca residents upset over Border Patrol checkpoint

    A battle is brewing in one Arizona Border Town over what some residents say is taking over their way of life. They're not talking about migrants crossing the border; their fight is with Border Patrol.
    A battle is brewing in one Arizona Border Town over what some residents say is taking over their way of life. They're not talking about migrants crossing the border; their fight is with Border Patrol.
  • DACA two years later seen as opportunity for some, backdoor amnesty for others

    DACA two years later seen as opportunity for some, backdoor amnesty for others

    It's been two years since President Obama started the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program. It allows undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as kids to work and pursue their education without fear of deportation.It's a day of celebration for some, and also evidence of a continuing deadlock when it comes to immigration in America
    It's been two years since President Obama started the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program. It allows undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as kids to work and pursue their education without fear of deportation.It's a day of celebration for some, and also evidence of a continuing deadlock when it comes to immigration in America
  • Court urged to block Arizona's denial of licenses

    Court urged to block Arizona's denial of licenses

    A federal appeals court that previously overturned Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's policy of denying driver's licenses to some young immigrants is being asked to immediately block the policy though Brewer has...
    A federal appeals court that previously overturned Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's policy of denying driver's licenses to some young immigrants is being asked to immediately block the policy though Brewer has requested...

By JULIE PACE
AP White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama pressed for swift action on a sweeping immigration bill Wednesday, saying last-minute obstacles are "resolvable" and predicting Congress could pass historic legislation by the end of the summer.

In back-to-back interviews with Spanish-language television networks, Obama repeatedly voiced confidence in a bipartisan Senate group that appears to be on the cusp of unveiling a draft bill. And he said that while he is still prepared to step in with his own bill if talks break down, he doesn't expect that step to be necessary.

"If we have a bill introduced at the beginning of next month as these senators indicate it will be, then I'm confident that we can get it done certainly before the end of the summer," Obama told Telemundo.

While overhauling the nation's patchwork immigration laws is a top second term priority for the president, he has ceded the negotiations almost entirely to Congress. He and his advisers have calculated that a bill crafted by Capitol Hill stands a better chance of winning Republican support than one overtly influenced by the president.

In his interviews Wednesday, Obama tried to stay out of the prickly policy issues that remain unfinished in the Senate talks, though he said a split between business and labor on wages for new low-skilled workers was unlikely to "doom" the legislation.

"This is a resolvable issue," he said.

The president also spoke Wednesday with Univision. His interviews followed a citizenship ceremony conducted Monday at the White House where he pressed Congress to "finish the job" on immigration, an issue that has vexed Washington for years.

The president made little progress in overhauling the nation's fractured immigration laws in his first term, but he redoubled his efforts after winning re-election. The November contest also spurred some Republicans to drop their opposition to immigration reform, given that Hispanics overwhelmingly backed Obama.

In an effort to keep Republicans at the negotiation table, Obama has stayed relatively quiet on immigration over the last month. He rolled out his immigration principles during a January rally in Las Vegas and made an impassioned call for overhauling the nation's laws during his early February State of the Union address, then purposely handed off the effort to lawmakers.

The president has, however, privately called members of the Senate working group, and the administration is providing technical support to the lawmakers. The Gang of Eight is expected to unveil its draft bill when Congress returns from a two-week recess the week of April 8.

Obama and the Senate group are in agreement on some core principles, including a pathway to citizenship for most of the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country, revamping the legal immigration system and holding businesses to tougher standards on verifying their workers are in the country legally.

But they're at odds over key issues. The Senate group wants the citizenship pathway to be contingent on securing the border, something Obama opposes. The president has also sidestepped the contentious guest-worker issue, which contributed to derailing immigration talks in 2007.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO have reached significant agreements on a new visa program that would bring up to 200,000 lower-skilled workers to the country each year. But they reached a stalemate Friday over wages for the workers, with the labor union pushing for higher wages than the chamber has agreed to so far.

Since then, talks have resumed and negotiators are "back on the right track," Ana Avendano, a lead AFL-CIO negotiator, said Wednesday.

Avendano declined to offer specifics but said the chamber had moved off what she termed its insistence on "poverty-level wages" for the new workers.

"We're very hopeful that we're moving," Avendano told reporters after a briefing for congressional staff on temporary-worker programs.

While Obama tries to keep the pressure on lawmakers this week, four members of the Senate immigration group toured Arizona's border with Mexico to inspect the conditions there. Arizona's Republican Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake were joined by Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York and Michael Bennet of Colorado for the border tour.

The president also announced in his interviews that he planned to visit Mexico, as well as Costa Rica, in early May. The immigration debate in the U.S. is being closely watched by Latin American countries.

------

Associated Press writer Erica Werner contributed to this report.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Tyga calls for Empire State Building to go gold

    Tyga calls for Empire State Building to go gold

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 10:37 PM EDT2014-08-20 02:37:52 GMT
    The push to go gold for pediatric cancer has spread to the hip hop world. Popular rapper Tyga is joining those calling for the Empire State Building to light up for a good cause.
    The push to go gold for pediatric cancer has spread to the hip hop world. Popular rapper Tyga is joining those calling for the Empire State Building to light up for a good cause.
  • Christie talks casinos, Springsteen at town hall

    Christie talks casinos, Springsteen at town hall

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 9:49 PM EDT2014-08-20 01:49:34 GMT
    Gov. Chris Christie of New JerseyGov. Chris Christie of New Jersey
    Gov. Chris Christie talked Atlantic City casinos and defended his use of Bruce Springsteen music in the latest installment of his summer "No Pain, No Gain" town hall series on Tuesday. Many previous events have featured protests by retirees and labor groups as well as Atlantic City casino workers urging Christie to do more to save their jobs following a series of announced closures.
    Gov. Chris Christie talked Atlantic City casinos and defended his use of Bruce Springsteen music in the latest installment of his summer "No Pain, No Gain" town hall series on Tuesday. Many previous events have featured protests by retirees and labor groups as well as Atlantic City casino workers urging Christie to do more to save their jobs following a series of announced closures.
  • Foley wins Connecticut Independent Party backing

    Foley wins Connecticut Independent Party backing

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 9:35 PM EDT2014-08-20 01:35:03 GMT
    Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley has won the endorsement of the Independent Party of Connecticut, securing a second spot on the November ballot. Foley's campaign confirmed the Greenwich businessman won the third party's endorsement at Tuesday night's party caucus.
    Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley has won the endorsement of the Independent Party of Connecticut, securing a second spot on the November ballot. Foley's campaign confirmed the Greenwich businessman won the third party's endorsement at Tuesday night's party caucus.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices