Obama chides House GOP on immigration

 

President Obama chided House Republicans for having "repeatedly failed to take action" in a statement Wednesday marking the one-year anniversary of the Senate’s passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

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Obama accused Republicans of "seemingly preferring the status quo of a broken immigration system over meaningful reform" and declared that a "majority of Americans are ahead of House Republicans on this crucial issue."

"We have a chance to strengthen our country while upholding our traditions as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants, and I urge House Republicans to listen to the will of the American people and bring immigration reform to the House floor for a vote," Obama said.

Democrats are pressuring Republicans to move on immigration legislation before attention shifts fully to the midterm elections. House Democrats are targeting 30 Republicans who have voiced some support for immigration reform, in the hope of winning enough support for a discharge petition that would force a floor vote on the Senate bill.

Democrats acknowledge they're unlikely to convince Republican lawmakers to break with leadership, but they believe the initiative can help ratchet up political pressure on vulnerable members of the GOP.

Obama, meanwhile, has ordered the Department of Homeland Security to review the administration's procedures on deportations of illegal immigrants. Administration officials say the review could find actions for Obama to take, but stress they are not a substitute for reform legislation.

The effort to refocus attention on House Republicans comes as the White House has begun to feel the ire of immigration activists.

Last month, Janet Murguía, the head of the National Council of La Raza, labeled President Obama the "deporter-in-chief." Some Senate Democrats and members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus have also argued the president should undertake administrative action to slow deportations.

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