THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 19, 2013
Readout of the President’s Calls to Senate Republicans on Commonsense Immigration
“This afternoon, the President placed calls to Senator Graham, Senator McCain, and Senator Rubio to discuss their shared commitment to bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform and to commend the Senators for the bipartisan progress that continues to be made by the Gang of 8 on this important issue.
During the calls, which build on conversations that have taken place at the staff level, the President reiterated that he remains supportive of the effort underway in Congress, and that he hopes that they can produce a bill as soon as possible that reflects shared core principles on reform.
The President has made clear that he believes commonsense reform needs to include strengthening border security, creating an earned path to citizenship, holding employers accountable, and streamlining legal immigration.
As the President made clear when he met with Democratic Senators involved in the process last week, that while he is pleased with the progress and supportive of the effort to date, he is prepared to submit his own legislation if Congress fails to act.
He thanked the Senators for their leadership, and made clear that he and his staff look forward to continuing to work together with their teams to achieve needed reform.
The President did not speak with Senator Flake, who is traveling, but he looks forward to discussing the issue with him in the near future.”
Preview of President Obama’s immigration reform plan: nothing yet planned for STEM workers or Employment/Family Based Immigrants waiting in line
USA Today’s preview of the President’s Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) plan indicates that it presently includes proposals for increased border security funding, a reworking of the employment verification protocol and, most importantly, an eight year legalization path for undocumented immigrants along with criminal checks, exams and back taxes. Unfortunately, no word yet on relief for legal immigrants in the queue or STEM/Professional Workers.
Undocumented immigrants would wait eight (8) years to get a green card – the later of 1. eight years from the date the Immigration Reform passes or 2. until all legal immigrants currently waiting in line receive a green card (as the President had previously announced). This would essentially mean the maximum wait time would be eight years, as plenty of legal immigrants are currently waiting up to 24 years for a family based green card (F4 Preference: U.S. Citizen filing for a brother/sister born in the Philippines) or 11 years for an employment based green card (EB3 Preference – U.S. Employer filing for an Indian skilled/professional worker).
While no one begrudges relief for undocumented immigrants, Comprehensive Immigration Reform will not be “Comprehensive” unless additional visa numbers are added for the family and employment based immigrants waiting patiently in line.
- President Obama’s immigration reform resembles Sen. Marco Rubio’s plan (miamiherald.com)
- Obama’s backup plan: Maximum 13-year wait for citizenship (news.yahoo.com)
On Laura Ingraham’s radio show, Senator David Vitter (R-LA) called out Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) on the latter’s support of the Bipartisan Framework for Comprehensive Immigration Reform. In doing so, Sen. Vitter has identified himself as one of the few vestigial remnants within the old Republican Party that cannot follow the simple math lesson taught by the recent Presidential Election:
Anti-Immigration Reform Platform=less than 40% of the Latino vote, where >40% of the Latino vote=White House.
Or put more simply:
Anti-Immigration Reform Platform=Bad
While I do agree that any Republican primary could still be won by an Anti-IR candidate, we have clearly witnessed that it is simply not possible for said candidate to “reset” or “restate” this position in time to win the Presidential Election
Excerpt from the radio show:
President Obama Speaks on Comprehensive Immigration Reform
White House Press Release on Comprehensive Immigration Reform entitled “Fixing our Broken Immigration System so Everyone Plays by the Rules”
VIA The White House, Office of the Press Secretary,
For Immediate Release, January 29, 2013
FACT SHEET: Fixing our Broken Immigration System so Everyone Plays by the Rules
America’s immigration system is broken. Too many employers game the system by hiring undocumented workers and there are 11 million people living in the shadows. Neither is good for the economy or the country.
It is time to act to fix the broken immigration system in a way that requires responsibility from everyone —both from the workers here illegally and those who hire them—and guarantees that everyone is playing by the same rules.
President Obama’s commonsense immigration reform proposal has four parts. First, continue to strengthen our borders. Second, crack down on companies that hire undocumented workers. Third, hold undocumented immigrants accountable before they can earn their citizenship; this means requiring undocumented workers to pay their taxes and a penalty, move to the back of the line, learn English, and pass background checks. Fourth, streamline the legal immigration system for families, workers, and employers.
Together we can build a fair, effective and commonsense immigration system that lives up to our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.
The key principles the President believes should be included in commonsense immigration reform are:
Immigration Attorney Ashwin Sharma was interviewed on the Channel 4’s Morning Show on the subject of the Gang of 8’s Bipartisan Framework for Comprehensive Immigration Reform versus President Obama’s proposal, and on the necessity of Immigration Reform in the country and within the Republican Party.
Bipartisan Framework for Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Senators Schumer, McCain, Durbin, Graham, Menendez, Rubio, Bennet, and Flake
We recognize that our immigration system is broken. And while border security has improved significantly over the last two Administrations, we still don’t have a functioning immigration system. This has created a situation where up to 11 million undocumented immigrants are living in the shadows. Our legislation acknowledges these realities by finally committing the resources needed to secure the border, modernize and streamline our current legal immigration system, while creating a tough but fair legalization program for individuals who are currently here. We will ensure that this is a successful permanent reform to our immigration system that will not need to be revisited.
Four Basic Legislative Pillars:
- Create a tough but fair path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants currently living in the United States that is contingent upon securing our borders and tracking whether legal immigrants have left the country when required;
- Reform our legal immigration system to better recognize the importance of characteristics that will help build the American economy and strengthen American families;
- Create an effective employment verification system that will prevent identity theft and end the hiring of future unauthorized workers; and,
- Establish an improved process for admitting future workers to serve our nation’s workforce needs, while simultaneously protecting all workers.