Obama Basically Endorses the Gang of Eight Immigration Proposal
In Las Vegas, President Obama delivered a speech calling for immigration reform. The address was mostly vague on details and focused primarily on making the broad historic, moral and economic argument for reform.
The lack of details was likely a political choice. Obama seems relatively happy with how things are currently moving in Congress and does want to step in unless necessary.
Now, the good news is that for the first time in many years, Republicans and Democrats seem ready to tackle this problem together. (Applause.) Members of both parties, in both chambers, are actively working on a solution. Yesterday, a bipartisan group of senators announced their principles for comprehensive immigration reform, which are very much in line with the principles I’ve proposed and campaigned on for the last few years. So at this moment, it looks like there’s a genuine desire to get this done soon, and that’s very encouraging. [...]
Now, of course, there will be rigorous debate about many of the details, and every stakeholder should engage in real give and take in the process. But it’s important for us to recognize that the foundation for bipartisan action is already in place. And if Congress is unable to move forward in a timely fashion, I will send up a bill based on my proposal and insist that they vote on it right away. (Applause.)
The very few broad policy that Obama said he wants from immigration reform, “smarter enforcement; a pathway to earned citizenship; improvements in the legal immigration system so that we continue to be a magnet for the best and the brightest all around the world” are nearly identical to what is in the bipartisan package.
If these Senators can turn their current proposal into a bill, Obama seems ready to sign it and declare victory.