President Barack Obama, speaking at the White House on Thursday, made an impassioned plea for Congress to refocus its attention on immigration reform and pass a comprehensive bill.
A bill that grants legal status to many undocumented immigrants living in the United States and secures the U.S. border was passed with bipartisan support this past spring. The Senate bill was supported by some staunch conservatives, such as Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. But the bill has since stalled in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. The entire immigration debate, it seems, was put on hold while the government shutdown and a debt-ceiling debate took center stage in Washington over the past few weeks.
It’s now up to House Republicans to pass comprehensive immigration reform, Obama urged in his speech.
“It’s up to Republicans in the House to decide whether reform becomes a reality or not,” said the president. “Republicans in the House, including the Speaker, have said we should act. So let’s not wait.”
“It doesn’t get easier to put it off,” he added. “It’s good for our economy, it’s good for our national security, it’s good for our people, and we should do it this year.”