Looks like Obama immigration reform will have to wait
At the “Three Amigos Summit” in Guadalajara, Mexico, President Barack Obama all but ruled out legislation passing this year, particularly since his top initiative — healthcare — has been put off until September and there still remains work to be done on climate change. And, oh yes, fixing the U.S. financial regulatory system too.
“That’s a pretty big stack of bills,” Obama told reporters alongside Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “I would anticipate that before the year is out, we will have draft (immigration) legislation, along with sponsors potentially in the House and the Senate who are ready to move this forward.”
“And when we come back next year, that we should be in a position to start acting,” he said, adding that it would require bipartisan cooperation — of which there has been little lately in Congress.
Obama repeated his desire for reforming the immigration system in a way that bolsters border security, creates a system to permit people into the United States and gives the 12 million illegal immigrants a way to eventually become citizens.
New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer, who chairs the Senate immigration subcommittee, has said he would like to try to get immigration legislation done this year but has previously acknowledged it would be a tough slog to do that given everything else on the agenda.
The ranking Republican, Texas Senator John Cornyn, has pressed the administration to offer specifics about its plan for reform before Congress acts.
- Photo credit: Reuters/Tomas Bravo (A U.S.-Mexico border crossing)