President Barack Obama will debut his plan for comprehensive immigration reform during an event in Las Vegas, Nevada on Tuesday.
In a statement on Friday, the White House announced Obama’s proposal would include a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the United States.
House Speaker John Boehner said there was enough bipartisan support for comprehensive immigration reform to pass. In Washington, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has been a proponent of granting citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country. Outside of Washington, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has also enthusiastically stated Republicans should work passing a comprehensive immigration reform package.
According to the White House statement, Obama and senior administration officials met on Friday “with leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to discuss the need to make things fairer” and fix what they felt was a ” broken immigration system.” Obama called comprehensive immigration reform his “top legislative priority” and said there was “no excuse for stalling or delay” on the matter.
According to The Hill, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus “developed a nine-point immigration plan earlier this year that is likely to serve as the template for the president’s immigration reform efforts.” That template includes calls “for a pathway to permanent residency and eventual citizenship for undocumented immigrants, new work visas for skilled professionals and the establishment of an employment verification system.”
White House press secretary Jay Carney “hinted that Obama would use his State of the Union address to push for reform.”
“I would say, broadly speaking, that State of the Union addresses tend to include at least a sample of a president’s agenda,” Carney said. “And immigration reform, comprehensive immigration reform, is a very high priority of the president’s. But I don’t want to get ahead of the speech.”
Carney also said he was encouraged that Republicans like Rubio seem to be on board and that Rubio’s past comments “bode well” for a deal on immigration reform.
“We are encouraged — referring now to recent reports‚ that Sen. Rubio’s thinking — as reported — so closely reflects the president’s blueprint for reform,” Carney said. “The president has long called for partners from both sides of the aisle. And he has lamented the absence of partners from the other side of the aisle.