President Obama intensified his call for Congress to take action on immigration reform during remarks at a naturalization ceremony at the White House Monday.
Obama, speaking after 28 men and women immigrants swore their oath of allegiance to the United States, pressured Congress to continue bipartisan talks and resume debate on immigration reform in April. ”If we want to keep attracting the best and the brightest then we need to do a better job of welcoming them,” he said.
“We’ve known for years that our immigration system is broken… and after avoiding the problem for years, the time has come to fix it for once and for all,” he said. “The time has come for comprehensive immigration reform.”
He said he expects his colleagues on Capitol Hill to “work up the political courage” and begin debate on a bill next month.
The president, who has made immigration reform a priority for his second term, acknowledged that it will take work. ”We are making progress, but we’ve got to finish the job.” He outlined his own priorities, including a “responsible pathway to earned citizenship,” an issue that has been one of the most contentious in the past. Some Republicans, though, have voiced support for such a pathway, including most recently Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who voiced his support this past week.