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Obama insists on citizenship path, admits reform efforts delayed

This week, the President was forced to admit that immigration reform is not likely to be passed by his self-imposed August deadline, but he insisted nonetheless that any reform efforts must include a path to U.S. citizenship for the nearly 11 million unauthorized immigrants currently living in the United States.

"It does not make sense to me, if we're going to make this once-in-a-generation effort to finally fix this system, to leave the status of 11 million people or so unresolved," the President told a Telemundo affiliate. "And certainly for us to have two classes of people in this country, full citizens and people who are permanently resigned to a lower status, I think that's not who we are as Americans. That's never been our tradition."

The President did a series of interviews this week with the Spanish-language media, in the hope that immigration reform activists will be roused by the partisan delay and contact their representatives in Congress. At the same time, delegates from the so-called "Gang of Eight" senators who devised the plan met with business, religious, agricultural and other leaders supportive of the reform effort and distributed the names of 121 members of the House who they believe can be persuaded to vote for the proposal.

Unfortunately, many U.S. Representatives from districts without many immigrants see no political advantage in voting for reform, analysts said, although Obama argues that many of their constituents, including business leaders, labor organizations, and Evangelical Christians support the reform efforts.

Whatever their reluctance may be, the representatives have only two weeks left to pass the legislation before their month-long August recess, and the bill is still being considered by the House Judiciary Committee.

While a path to U.S. citizenship for unauthorized immigrants is a major sticking point, some Republicans do support some efforts at reform, especially for those who were brought to the country as children and would benefit from the Dream Act.

"I think that group of people some call Dreamers is a group that deserves perhaps the highest priority attention," said the Republican chair of the House Judiciary Committee on Monday. "They know no other country."

Source: Fox News Latino, "Obama: Immigration Reform Will Miss August Deadline, Reiterates Need For Citizenship," July 17, 2013

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