Obama Repeats Call for 'Pathway' to Citizenship for Illegal Aliens

March 25, 2013 - 2:47 PM

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President Barack Obama. (AP)

(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama on Monday reiterated his call for a "pathway" to citizenship for illegal aliens and said one of his goals is to ensure that “citizens don’t have to wait years before their loved ones are able to join them in America.”

He also said he wants Congress to take up immigration legislation next month.

“We know that real reform requires modernizing the legal immigration system so that our citizens don’t have to wait years before their loved ones are able to join them in America, and so that we are attracting the highly skilled entrepreneurs that are going to help create good paying jobs that grow our economy,” Obama said at a naturalization ceremony in the White House where 28 people – 13 of them members of the military – became citizens.

Past efforts to grant legal status to illegal aliens have failed in Congress. Supporters call this notion a “pathway to citizenship” while opponents of the policy call it “amnesty” for illegals. Among the bigger concerns raised about legalizing illegal aliens has been chain migration.

“We’ve known for years that our immigration system is broken,” Obama said. “We’re not doing enough to harness the talent and ingenuity of all those who want to work here and find a place here in America. After avoiding the problem for years, the time has come to fix it once and for all. The time has come for a comprehensive, sensible, immigration reform.”

Obama praised bipartisan groups in the House and Senate for working on immigration proposals.

“We are making progress but we’ve got to finish the job because this issue is not new,” Obama said. “Everyone pretty much knows what’s broken. We’ve all proposed solutions. We’ve got a lot of white papers, studies. We’ve just got to at this point work up the political courage to do what’s required to be done. So I expect a bill to be put forward. I expect the debate to begin next month. I want to sign that bill into law as soon as possible.”

“We know that real reform means continuing to strengthen our border security and hold employers accountable,” Obama continued. “We know that real reform means providing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are currently living in the shadows, a pathway that includes passing a background check and paying taxes, a penalty, of learning English and then going to the back of the line behind everyone else who is trying to come here legally.”