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Amid healthcare woes, Obama to discuss immigration reform on Thursday


By Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As the White House struggles to fix the problem-plagued rollout of its healthcare reform law, President Barack Obama on Thursday will try to focus attention on another policy priority - immigration reform - with a call for congressional action.

The president, who listed immigration as one of three priorities for this year after the 16-day government shutdown concluded, will make a statement at 10:35 a.m. (1435 GMT) at the White House urging lawmakers to finish work on measures to strengthen U.S. borders and provide a pathway toward citizenship for millions of people who are in the United States illegally.

"The president has made clear the key principles that must be a part of any bipartisan, commonsense effort, including continuing to strengthen border security, creating an earned path to citizenship, holding employers accountable and bringing our immigration system into the 21st century," a White House official said on Wednesday.

"He will urge that Congress take up this issue in a bipartisan way."

The Democratic-controlled Senate passed a broad immigration reform bill earlier this year, but the issue has languished in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives

The push for reform was drowned out in recent months by budget controversies and Obama's healthcare law. Republicans triggered the government shutdown in an effort to defund or delay implementation of the law.

Since the shutdown ended, however, the law known as Obamacare has dominated headlines because of its glitch-filled centerpiece website, healthcare.gov. Obama pledged on Monday that the problems would be fixed, but the issue has become a headache for him and his administration when it was supposed to be his crowning domestic policy achievement.

Talking about immigration reform on Thursday could be an effort to deflect attention from the White House's healthcare woes. An aide to Republican House Speaker John Boehner, however, said the issue would not be taken up as one big bill like the Senate version that Obama supports.

Republicans were "still committed to a step-by-step approach that gives Americans confidence we did it the right way, rather than one big Obamacare size bill that no one understands," the aide said, adding a jab at the healthcare law.

The White House official said Obama would be joined on stage and in the audience on Thursday by immigration reform supporters.

"Commonsense immigration is good for the country and it's the right thing to do," he said. "It will grow the economy, reduce the deficit, and has broad support from both Democrats and Republicans, business and labor, as well as law enforcement and faith leaders."
22 Responses
1530342 tn?1405020090
Keep steady Mr. President..Eye on the prize..I'm patient....
Avatar universal
I was just watching a segment on msnbc which was an interview with the guy that came up with romneycare and obamacare. He said, that the republicans refused to give Obama the money to hire the biggest and the best to implement this website. hmmm. Kind of hypocritical for the pubs to be placing blame now isnt it. I also discovered that the mandate was origninally a republican idea, brought about thru freedomworks back in 1989. I can post the document if anyone is interested.
Avatar universal
Sorry, it was not freedomworks, its the heritage foundation, the same ones that led the government shutdown to repeal or delay obamacare.


And here is another link I found very very interesting if you would like it.

I am posting this link because I have noticed that while there is lots of verbage of the negative kind coming from republicans about obamacare, yet you never hear of romneycare of how successful it is?

Avatar universal
Something that was spoken about in 1989 means nothing a bad idea is a bad idea no matter who it is from.

And Obama had millions and millions for the website.

Now on to immigration...he wants to grant everyone who broke the law amenisty. Does anyone see how dumb that is? Of course not because you all follow him off the cliff.
Avatar universal
Immigration reform does not mean amnesty to me.  We've got to something a hell of a lot more intensive than amnesty.  I wasn't a fan of amnesty when Reagan did it either.  

I have a hard time rewarding someone who broke the law and never answered to it.
1310633 tn?1430227691
I'm okay with "amnesty", as long as there's some type of financial penalty/responsibility associated with it.

Make each person that applies for said amnesty, pay $10,000. Every man, woman, and child that wants to become legal, should have to pay $10K.

Wether they've been here 5 minutes, 5 years, or 50 years. $10K/ea.

A family of 4 would have to pay $40K.

Not all at once, mind you.

Have the IRS "flag" their newly issued SS#'s, and garnish their wage(s) by a percentage that's manageable.

I don't think it's too much to ask to have amnesty-seekers pay for said amnesty.

Anyone else think that's fair, or possibly not fair?

Yes, they broke the law, but beside deporting the lot of them, they're here to stay, so this option seems logical to me.

They get to stay, and we (the US gov't) get's some back'revenue out of it.
Avatar universal
That is racist EL
148588 tn?1465782409
el didn't mention anything even remotely connected to race. This makes even less sense than thinking 'Tea Bagger' has sexual connotations.

el_em_en_oh :

Interesting plan. I think you could probably get a lot of people to go for that.
Avatar universal
Almost like a small EB-5 plan..$500K to $1m buys your way into the country.
This has become quite popular in my neck of the woods


148588 tn?1465782409
The problems I see in el's plan are:

The possibility of creating a group of second class citizens who are buying their way to citizenship on the installment plan.

Pressure to lower minimum wage to accommodate a suddenly larger labor pool. The plan would probably have to have a compromise with a higher buy-in price and an increase in minimum wage.
Avatar universal
No way, EL didn't say anything racist? Come on you have to be kidding me? He spews racist remarks left and right...my comment to him was a joke.

Avatar universal
Quebec is even more expensive to buy your way in..But, the lesson is, cash is king no matter what country
"Eligibility Criteria

You must be at least 18 years of age
You must have at least two years of business experience.
You must have a net worth of at least CAD 1,600,000 that was legally obtained. This net worth must have been accumulated through the operation, control or management of a profitable business, either industrial or commercial. Unlike Federal Program, the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program allows to include inherited assets as legally obtained. Inheritance must be at least 6 months before launching the application.
You must be willing and able to make an investment of CAD 800,000. Your CAD 800,000 investment will be returned, without interest, about five years and two months after payment.
You must also show that you have enough money to support yourself and your dependants after you arrive in Canada."
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