President Obama on Saturday called for the public to encourage Congress to pass immigration reform as the Senate is poised to hold a key vote on the Gang of Eight bill this week.
During his weekly address, the president called the Senate measure a "commonsense bill that would be an important step toward fixing our broken immigration system." Obama's endorsement of the measure comes as the Senate is marching toward a final vote to end debate on the immigration bill on Thursday.
"So that’s what comprehensive immigration reform looks like. Stronger enforcement. A smarter legal immigration system. A pathway to earned citizenship. A more vibrant, growing economy that’s fairer on the middle class. And a more stable fiscal future for our kids," Obama said.
On Monday, the Senate will vote to end debate on a border security deal that is viewed as key to winning more GOP support for the immigration bill. The deal would double the number of border patrol agents and authorize the construction of 700 miles of fencing across the U.S.-Mexico border.
Sens. Bob CorkerBob CorkerGroups warn of rural health 'crisis' under ObamaCare repeal Ringing the alarm in Congress: 20 million lives at risk due to famine Senators want more efficient way to get food aid to Africa MORE (R-Tenn.) and John HoevenJohn HoevenHeitkamp raises .6 million for reelection bid: report Combating opioid epidemic, repealing ObamaCare will hurt the cause Senate panel considers how to fund Trump’s T infrastructure package MORE (R-N.D.) have said they would back the bill following this agreement on border security language.
Supporters are aiming to win at least 70 votes in favor of the sweeping immigration bill, which would build momentum for immigration reform in the House.
The president acknowledged that the Senate's bill "isn't perfect," but said it represents a "compromise" that includes policy measures that he and others have advocated for in immigration reform.
"Nobody is going to get everything they want—not Democrats, not Republicans, not me. But it's consistent with the principles that I and others have laid out for commonsense reform," Obama said.
"That's why Republicans and Democrats, CEOs and labor leaders, are saying that now is the time to pass this bill."