President Obama has wrapped up his $1.6 million
campaign event immigration reform speech in Las Vegas, Nevada.
"Now is the time for common sense, comprehensive immigration reform," Obama said.
Piggybacking off of a bipartisan immigration reform plan presented by eight Senators yesterday, Obama called on Congress to quickly come up with legislation.
"We can't allow immigration reform to get bogged down in endless debate," Obama said. "For the first time in years, Republicans and Democrats seem ready to attack this problem together."
Although Obama focused on further enforcement as a top priority for reform, he stressed the need to expedite 11 million illegal immigrants away from the shadows and into American society as citizens, a position bound to put the country into another post-1986 amnesty situation.
Obama wants to study the fine print of legislation once it is written, but administration officials were quick to say the president objects to linking an earned pathway to citizenship to enforcement or border security triggers, a contingency concept included in the bipartisan “principles” outlined Monday by pro-reform senators who have been dubbed the “immigration eight.” Immigration enforcement goals have already been met by the administration, the officials said, and any new triggers or thresholds set by law would create unnecessary obstacles to those seeking legal status.
Obama warned if Congress fails to enact its own immigration reform, he'll send up his own bill "and insist they vote on it right away," while cautioning against the emotion of ongoing debate and an "us vs. them" mentality.
"The closer we get, the more emotional this debate is going to become," Obama said. "Immigration has always been an issue that inflames passions."
Republican Senator Marco Rubio has said he will oppose legislation that puts the Green Card process before border enforcement and security.