Pro-amnesty organizations pounced on President Barack Obama’s promise of giving illegal immigrants a “pathway for legal status,” arguing those words were not clear enough to them about his intentions.
When Obama used the phrase “legal status” instead of “citizenship” during his press conference on Wednesday, pro-amnesty groups wondered if Obama was merely in favor of giving illegal immigrants green cards (legal status) and not full citizenship.
A spokesperson for United We Dream, a group that represents illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children, said Obama’s comments were troubling.
“He looked like he sidestepped around saying ‘citizenship,'” Marisol Valero, a United We Dream spokesperson, said. “We are worried that the president and other leaders will not be supporting a path to citizenship for everyone.”
A White House official told Yahoo News Obama was “very clear” that he wanted young illegal immigrants known as “Dreamers” to have “every opportunity to earn their citizenship,” and that Congress should “seize the moment” to pass comprehensive immigration reform.