Thursday, July 18, 2024

President Obama says GOP Stalling Immigration Reform

During an online roundtable on Wednesday addressing key issues in the Latino community, President Barack Obama reaffirmed his commitment for comprehensive immigration reform but said lack of GOP leadership on the issue is hurting any progress.

At the roundtable, which was moderated by Jose Siade, Yahoo’s editor in chief for U.S. Hispanic and Latin America, Obama said that in the past Republicans such as former President George W. Bush and Senator John McCain supported immigration reform, but now the current crop of Republicans can’t even agree to put the issue back on the table.

“We don’t have that kind of leadership in the Republican Party,” and they have “moved away from support of comprehensive immigration reform,” Obama said.

Obama took several questions from users of Yahoo, MSN Latino and AOL Latino/Huffington Post Latino Voices on a variety of issues affecting Latinos in the U.S.

Under the president’s plan millions of undocumented immigrants could earn their citizenship through a legal pathway if they pay a fine or learn English and employers who hire unauthorized workers will face stiffer penalties.  Obama also said he will continue to enforce current immigration laws, focusing on deporting undocumented immigrants with criminal records.

He also cast off the idea that he has the power to take action on the issue without the support of Congress.

“This notion that I can just change the law unilaterally is just not true,” he said. “The fact of the matter is there are laws on the books I have to enforce. And there is a great disservice done to the cause of getting the DREAM Act passed and comprehensive immigration reform passed by perpetuating the notion that somehow by myself I can just go and do these things.”

Democrats are “trying to push Republicans back to where they were just a few years ago” in order to pass immigration reform, says Obama.

During the discussion Obama also touched on the topic of jobs, the economy and education.



USA Today