President Barack Obama said now is the time for Congress to pass a new immigration law and prove to voters that Democrats and Republicans can act together.
“This is the moment when we should be able to finally get the job done,” Obama said at a White House event. “It’s good for our economy, it’s good for our national security, it’s good for our people, and we should do it this year.”
After the fiscal standoff with congressional Republicans was temporarily resolved earlier this month, Obama said he would make it a priority to push for passage of a new immigration law before the end of the year.
While the Senate passed an immigration bill on a bipartisan vote in June, legislation that would provide a path to legal status for the 11 million undocumented workers in the U.S. still faces opposition from many Republicans in the House, where they have a majority.
Businesses, labor unions and churches are united on “finishing the job of fixing a broken immigration system,” Obama said in urging lawmakers to act. “The American people support this.”
Hispanics gave Obama 71 percent of their votes in the 2012 presidential election. Democrats say Republican opposition to an immigration bill, along along with the party’s role in the government shutdown, will be an issue in the 2014 midterm congressional elections.
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