Today, President Obama outlined his immigration proposal in Las Vegas, Nevada in an effort to address the eleven million undocumented immigrants now living in the U.S. The President’s proposal arrives just one day after a Bipartisan immigration reform proposal was announced by U.S. Senate leaders.
President Obama outlined three main goals for his proposal:
- Enforcement. The president stressed the need for greater security and enforcement of the U.S. borders and the need for greater enforcement of the Employment Verification system, E-verify. The President stressed that there needs to be greater penalties for companies that hire undocumented immigrants, so that “every business and worker is playing by the same rules.”
- Clear Pathway to Citizenship. The President also stressed the need for a clear pathway for citizenship for law-abiding immigrants. President Obama also stated that those who are eligible for a clear pathway to citizenship must go through a background check, must pay taxes and penalties, and must learn English.
- Reform Immigration System as a Whole. The President’s final point was the need to bring the U.S. Immigration System into the 21st century. President Obama specifically pointed out that U.S. citizens should not have to wait years to bring their families over to the U.S. and that foreign students studying in the U.S. who receive American degrees should be eligible to stay in the U.S. to work and live.
President Obama also made clear that he would give the U.S. Congress time to address their concerns and form their own immigration reform bill. However, President Obama firmly stated that if Congress cannot come to an agreement on an immigration reform bill, he will write his own bill addressing his goals and send it to Congress for a vote.
UPDATE: Read the White House Fact Sheet on President Obama’s Immigration Reform Proposal here.