Breaking news on immigration today—President Obama plans to give a speech in Nevada next week laying out the components of a plan for immigration reform that includes a roadmap to citizenship. From the Hill:
President Obama will debut his plans for comprehensive immigration reform at an event Tuesday in Las Vegas, the White House said Friday.
In a statement, the White House said the president’s proposal would call for legislation to create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Obama held a strategy session Friday with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, telling the lawmakers that reform efforts would be “a top priority” in his second term…
Among those in attendance at Friday’s White House meeting with Obama were Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), House Democratic Caucus Chair Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-Texas), Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.) and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.).
“After today’s meeting, it’s clear that President Obama is determined to fix our long broken immigration system,” Becerra said in a statement following the meeting. “The President expressed a great sense of urgency and that comprehensive immigration reform, including an earned path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, is his top legislative priority”…
Separately, a bipartisan “Gang of 6” Senators has also come close to their own agreement on what an immigration bill should look like, and are also planning their own announcement next week. From the Washington Post:
A working group of senators from both parties is nearing agreement on broad principles for overhauling the nation’s immigration laws, representing the most substantive bipartisan effort toward comprehensive legislation in years.
The six members have met quietly since the November election, most recently on Wednesday. Congressional aides stressed there is not yet final agreement, but they have eyed next Friday as a target date for a possible public announcement…
“We have basic agreement on many of the core principles,” Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), a member of the group, said this week. “Now we have to draft it. It takes time.”
“The group we’ve been meeting with — and it’s equal number of Democrats and Republicans — we’re real close,” added Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), another member of the group.
The accelerated pace signals that immigration reform is expected to be one of Congress’s highest priorities, and it comes as the White House prepares to launch its own public campaign on the issue.
According to the Wall Street Journal, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) urged Republicans yesterday to embrace comprehensive reform:
In some conservative circles, the word ‘comprehensive’ in the context of immigration reform is an epithet — a code word for amnesty. People who oppose such reform declare that securing the United States border must come before moving toward broader reform. Such an approach is shortsighted and self-defeating.