press trust of india
Washington, 14 July
US President Barack Obama has asked Americans to use all communication means to prod their Republican lawmakers to pass a landmark immigration reform Bill that would boost economy and create a pathway to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants, including over 240,000 Indians.
In his latest weekly Internet and radio address, Mr Obama recalled that two weeks ago, a large bipartisan majority of Senators voted to pass commonsense, comprehensive immigration reform taking an important step towards fixing our broken immigration system once and for all. “This Bill was a compromise, and neither side got everything they wanted. But it was largely consistent with the key principles of commonsense reform that most of us in both parties have repeatedly laid out,” Mr Obama said.
“If passed, the Senate’s plan would build on the historic gains we’ve made in border security over the past four years with the most aggressive border security plan in our history. It would offer a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million people who are in this country illegally, a pathway that includes paying penalties, learning English, and going to the end of the line behind everyone trying to come here legally. And it would modernise our legal immigration system to make it more consistent with our values,” he said.
Mr Obama’s message aired on Saturday was aimed at the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, which has balked at approving the bipartisan Senate bill.
Long supportive of the Senate measure, Mr Obama and his aides have pushed the House of Representatives to take up the immigration reform bill, which includes a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants and strict border security provisions. There are some 240,000 Indians in the category of undocumented immigrants in the US.
Some House Republicans have been resistant of the Senate-approved legislation, however, saying any pathway to citizenship amounts to amnesty.
But Mr Obama said, the US House of Representatives must act now on the immigration Bill. “Now the House needs to act so I can sign commonsense immigration reform into law. And if you agree, tell your Representatives that now is the time. Call or email or post on their Facebook walls and ask them to get this done. Because together, we can grow our economy and keep America strong for years to come,” he said.
Mr Obama also underlined that the Senate’s plan would also provide a big boost to recovery of the US economy. Pointing to a report released on Wednesday by independent, nonpartisan economists and experts, Mr Obama noted that the study concluded that, if the Senate’s plan becomes law, the US economy will be 5 per cent larger in two decades compared to the status quo.