Obama speaks about immigration reform and fiscal cliff

The president made it clear that if Congress fails a fiscal pact this weekend

[p][p][p]WASHINGTON. - U.S. President Barack Obama renewed his commitment to push immigration reform in the first year of his second and final term, insisting that it is listed among the top priorities of his government's agenda.


During an interview on "Meet the Press" on NBC, Obama outlined the priorities of his second term, emphasizing efforts to promote immigration reform and to stop the violence caused by guns in the U.S.

"I have said that to fix our broken immigration system is a top priority," Obama said in the interview taped on Saturday at the White House, but released today.

"I will present legislation in the first year to achieve an immigration reform, because I think we've talked enough about this," he noted.

"We know how we can correct it. We can do it in a comprehensive manner so that the American people could support it, that's something we should do," said Obama.

The president has been criticized by many groups and immigrant advocates because, during his tenure, the U.S. Government has deported more than one million illegal immigrants, including some with no criminal record.

Although no details were given about the content of the legislation in the past, Obama said that he supports an immigration reform among other things like strengthening border enforcement, sanctions on businesses that hire illegal immigrants, and a way for them to obtain permanent residence.

In the NBC interview, Obama said that aside from immigration, other priorities of his government include economic growth, promoting efficient energy, environmental protection, and measures to curb violence stemming from firearms.

For now, one day before the dreaded "fiscal cliff" that has a mix of higher taxes and cuts in public spending, the president made it clear that if Congress fails a fiscal pact this weekend, his immediate goal is "ensure that taxes do not go up for middle class families."



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