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Obama urges Congress to move forward on Senate’s immigration reform plan

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

During his weekly address last week, President Obama urged members of Congress to move forward on immigration reform passed by the Senate late last month.

The Senate voted 68-32 late last month to approve an immigration reform bill that creates a 13-year path to citizenship for approximately 11 million illegal residents in the U.S. The bill also increases border security, requires mandatory workplace verification for employers and features a new visa program for lesser-skilled workers.

“This bill was a compromise, and neither side got everything they wanted,” Obama said. “But it was largely consistent with the key principles of commonsense reform that most of us in both parties have repeatedly laid out. 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… The Senate’s plan would also provide a big boost to our recovery.”

A report released by the White House last Wednesday revealed that, if the Senate’s plan becomes law, the U.S. economy will grow by five percent in 20 years, adding $1.4 trillion to the economy.

The plan proceeded to the House of Representatives for a vote, but House Speaker John Boehner has vowed that the bill would not come to a floor vote without the support of a GOP majority, adding that the chamber would come up with its own version of an immigration reform bill.

Boehner and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) urged House Republican colleagues last week to pass immigration reform in a closed-door meeting. Boehner said the party would be “in a much weaker position” if it failed to act, The Hill reports.

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