Obama: ‘Genuine Desire’ on Immigration

Photograph by John Moore/Getty Images

Undocumented Guatemalan immigrants are body searched before boarding a deportation flight to Guatemala City at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, Arizona.

President Barack Obama, calling the proposal for an immigration overhaul from a bipartisan group of senators “very much in line” with his own goals, says he sees “a genuine desire” in Congress to accomplish this soon.

“The good news is that – for the first time in many years – Republicans and Democrats seem ready to tackle this problem together,” Obama plans to say at an appearance in Las Vegas today. “Members of both parties both chambers, are actively working on a solution.”

The plan proposed by Sens. John McCain and Marco Rubio and two other Republicans, working with Sens. Chuck Schumer, Mike Bennet and two other Democrats, “are very much in line with the principles I’ve proposed and campaigned on for the last few years,” Obama plans to say, according to excerpts from the White House.

Congress must act on “a comprehensive approach” that deals with the 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the U.S., the president will say. The senators have proposed a “road-map” for green cards and ultimately citizenship for many of the undocumented.

The Republicans in the group say they are spurred by the 2012 elections, in which Obama took 71 percent of the Hispanic vote.

“At this moment, it looks like there’s a genuine desire to get this done soon,” Obama plans to say in Nevada, one of the states where Hispanic voters helped re-eelect him. “And that’s very encouraging.”

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