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.”
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.