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President Obama: “I pledge to do everything in my power to forge a bipartisan consensus, this year”

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Yesterday, President Barack Obama delivered the following message to the 200,000 people gathered on the National Mall for the March for America: “Change Takes Courage:” 

An excerpt from the message:

…I’ve always pledged to be your partner as we work to fix our broken immigration system and that’s a commitment that I reaffirm today. Nobody knows the cost of inaction better than you. You see it in the families that are torn apart and the small business owners who try to do the right thing while others game the system. You see it in the workers, who deserve the protection of our laws and the officers who struggle to keep our communities safe while earning the trust of those they serve.

That’s why today there’s a growing coalition of law enforcement officials, faith and community leaders and members of labor and business sectors who understand that immigration reform is critical to our security and our prosperity. In the end, our broken immigration system affects more than a single community, it affects our entire country. And as we continue to strengthen our economy and jump start job creation, we need to do so with an immigration system that works, not the broken system we have now.

That’s why 9 months ago I asked members of my team to lead efforts to move the legislative process forward. Since then they’ve met with elected officials from both parties and stakeholders from all across the country. And we’ve worked together with Senators Schumer and Graham as they’ve developed a framework that includes common-sense, effective strategies to protect our borders and enforce the law while offering a path to citizenship for hard-working people who register, pay taxes, pay a fine and agree to play by the rules.

I congratulate Senators Schumer and Graham for their leadership. And I pledge to do everything in my power to forge a bi-partisan consensus, this year on this issue.  

You know as well as I do that this wont’ be easy and it won’t’ happen overnight. But if we work together across, ethnic state and party lines, we can build a future worthy of our history as a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws.