Photo: President Obama still faces strong opposition from Republicans on immigration reform
As President Obama’s approval rating among Hispanics drops to the lowest it has been since he took office, Republicans are telling his administration that comprehensive immigration reform even mentioning amnesty is unlikely.
During a White House meeting of elected officials and immigration experts, President Obama wished to discuss one of the promises he made during his campaign; immigration. Republicans in Congress however, have stated that if he and his administration are looking to do a complete overhaul of the current immigration system, they will be waiting indefinitely.
Obama has reportedly been informed that any bill that includes any kind of amnesty or legalization for millions of undocumented immigrants already living in the U.S. will be shot down long before it ever has a chance before a congressional committee.
During a recent hearing on immigrant agricultural workers, California Republican Dan Lungren said that a path to citizenship is “what doomed all immigration legislation in the last two administrations.”
The hearing at which Lungren was speaking was regarding an agricultural workers’ bill that had been proposed in the last congressional session. He assured that the proposal had no hope of moving forward.
“It’s not going to pass,” stated Lungren. “And it’s not going to pass because it has, frankly … a path to citizenship.”
And Rep. Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas, has a similar opinion on the issue, and says that paths to legal residency are nearly equivalent to amnesty.
During Obama’s White House immigration meeting Tuesday, Lamar said, “I think most members of Congress and most Americans don’t want to reward lawbreakers and don’t want to give them amnesty.” Adding, “remember, last Congress, the Democrats had large majorities and weren’t able to pass the comprehensive immigration amnesty bill. I don’t think the bipartisan resistance to mass amnesty has (abated).”
President Obama has promised to continue working to build on a compromise on immigration reform, and said a “civil debate” will likely be held in the coming months, but the White House states that the debate cannot succeed if the president is the only one leading the debate.
After Tuesday’s meeting, a statement from the White House read:
The president urged meeting participants to take a public and active role to lead a constructive and civil debate on the need to fix the broken immigration system. He stressed that in order to tackle the issue successfully they must bring the debate to communities around the country and involve many sectors of American society in insisting that Congress act to create a system that meets our nation’s needs for the 21st century and that upholds America’s history as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.