In his his first State of the Union address after re-election President Obama called on Congress to send him a comprehensive immigration reform bill “in the next few months”

Vol. XXIII, no.02, February 15, 2013, issue 1

Picture: U.S. House of Representiative

February 13, 2013: At the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner, President Barack Obama delivered the 92nd State of the Union Address at the Capitol on Tuesday, February 12, 2013. In addition to members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, attendees included the President’s Cabinet, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Chief Justice and Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, and the U.S. Diplomatic Corps.

In this first State of the Union address after his re-election, President Obama called on Congress to send him an immigration reform bill “in the next few months”. “We know what needs to be done”, President Obama said in his address. He applauded the efforts of bipartisan groups in both chambers of Congress to draft a comprehensive immigration bill. “Now let’s get this done. Send me a comprehensive immigration bill in the next few months and I will sign it right away”, President Obama said. The Obama administration has devoted increased attention to immigration reform in his second term in office. Last month in Las Vegas, President Obama spoke about creating a fair and effective immigration system.

“Leaders from the business, labor, law enforcement, and faith communities, they all agree that the time has come to pass comprehensive immigration reform”, he said in his address. President Obama said, “Real reform means establishing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship, a path that includes passing a background check, paying taxes and a meaningful penalty, learning English, and going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally”. He further explained, “And real reform means fixing the legal immigration system to cut waiting periods and attract the highly skilled entrepreneurs and engineers that will help create jobs and grow our economy”.

President Obama’s proposal for immigration reform has four parts. First, continue to strengthen our borders. Second, crack down on companies that hire undocumented workers. Third, hold undocumented immigrants accountable before they can earn their citizenship; this means requiring undocumented workers to pay their taxes and a penalty, move to the back of the line, learn English, and pass background checks. Fourth, streamline the legal immigration system for families, workers, and employers. Please see The fact sheet about President Obama’s proposals. For more information, see here