Obama: Immigration Reform Can Get Done This Year

Obama: Immigration Reform Can Get Done This Year

On Wednesday, as Congress was agreeing on a short-term resolution to re-open the government and raise the debt ceiling temporarily, President Barack Obama said he believed comprehensive immigration reform can get “done” this year. 

“We still need to pass a law to fix our broken immigration system. We still need to pass a farm bill,” Obama said in the White House briefing room. “And we could get all these things done even this year if everybody comes together in a spirit of how are we going to move this country forward and put the last three weeks behind us.”

Earlier in the day on Wednesday, White House press secretary Jay Carney said that one of the consequences of the government shutdown was that time was “taken away from the pursuit of other goals” like comprehensive immigration reform. 

Carney emphasized the White House was going to “push for” comprehensive immigration reform, which he said was the “right thing to do.” Speaking of the Senate’s immigration bill, Carney said there was “something in that bill for everyone,” and lamented again that the shutdown has forced the White House and Congress to pay attention to other matters rather than immigration. 

On Tuesday, Obama said that he would push Congress to enact immigration reform “the day after” the debt ceiling and government shutdown were resolved. The White House praised the Senate’s immigration bill that provides a pathway to citizenship for all illegal immigrants, which the Congressional Budget Office determined would lower the wages of working class Americans while not solving the illegal immigration problem.