Obama Predicts Immigration Bill Passage by Summer

“The reason I’m pessimistic [about the prospects of an immigration bill passing Congress is that President Obama’s] behavior concerning immigration leads me to believe that what he wants is a political issue rather than actually to pass a bill. What he wants is for the bill to crater, so that he can use the issue as a political wedge in 2014 and 2016. That is why I believe the president is insisting on a path to citizenship for those who are here illegally. Because by insisting on that, he ensures that any immigration reform bill will be voted down in the House.” Senator Ted Cruz

In interviews with two Spanish-language television networks on March 27, President Obama expressed optimism that immigration reform legislation being drafted by the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” group of senators will be passed this summer.

Fox News cited the president’s statement that he is still prepared to step in with his own bill if talks among the senators break down, but he doesn’t expect that intervention to be necessary.

“If we have a bill introduced at the beginning of next month as these senators indicate it will be, then I’m confident that we can get it done certainly before the end of the summer,” Obama told Hialeah, Florida-based Telemundo (the second-largest Spanish-language network in the United States).

Observers attribute Obama’s hand-off to Congress to draft an immigration reform package as being part of the White House political strategy. Fox notes that Obama “and his advisers have calculated that a bill crafted by Capitol Hill stands a better chance of winning Republican support than one overtly influenced by the president.”


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