Obama starts his campaign for immigration reform

It will begin in Las Vegas next Tuesday

Obama starts his campaign for immigration reformPresident Barack Obama during a press conference at the White House/ EFE agency
President Barack Obama during a press conference at the White House/ EFE agency

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WASHINGTON. - President Barack Obama will begin to push for Congress to pass this year the immigration reform, and will begin his campaign with a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada, next Tuesday, where he will give a speech on the subject, according to the White House.

White House sources confirmed to Efe that Obama will deliver a speech on immigration, in order to "increase the efforts" to bring about a reform that has been pending since his first term as President.

The Las Vegas trip will be the first one outside of Washington, and the first speech Obama will deliver after his second presidential inauguration, which shows that immigration reform is a priority of his new term in office.

The White House spokesman, Jay Carney, would not go into detail about what Obama will propose on Tuesday in Las Vegas, but instead referred to the plan that the president outlined in 2011 in a speech in El Paso (Texas).

The plan to give undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship that could benefit about 11 million, who are in the U.S., is still being postponed in the White House.

This plan for some Republicans is being seen more as an amnesty which they are opposed to.

In addition, Obama's initiative includes reinforcing security at the borders and penalizing employers who hire undocumented immigrants.

According to Carney, immigration reform is a "legislative priority" for Obama, who last year temporarily suspended by decree the deportation of hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth who entered the country illegally as children.

Although deportations reached a record high during the first term in office of President Obama, the Government justifies the deportation increase by being mostly that of people with criminal records.

Obama also met with Hispanic leaders of Congress "to address the need to make things more fair for the middle class and promote growth" through a reform that solves "an immigration system that is broken," said the White House in a statement.

The president was pleased with the exchange of ideas he had with these leaders, and said "we share the same vision, including the fact that any legislation must include a path for citizenship."

For Obama, this plan cannot become "stagnant" nor have a "delay" in efforts to implement an immigration reform.

Currently, a group of eight senators, four Democrats and four Republicans, evaluate a plan for immigration reform, but have not yet submitted a bill, which they have until February to have a list of key proposals ready to present.

"We are encouraged by the efforts being made in Congress to move forward on this issue and address it in a comprehensive way," said the president’s spokesman yesterday.

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Omar.Martinez@sandiegored.com

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