New York Sen. Chuck Schumer is predicting that sweeping immigration reform will become law before the year is over.
Schumer, a Democrat and chairman of the Senate's immigration subcommittee, spoke at the New York Daily News/Citizenship Now! headquarters. He said he expected Senate hearings to lead to a major change in U.S. policy, the Daily News reported.
"I believe that this year, we can pass comprehensive, strong, fair immigration reform," Schumer said.
Schumer's comments came on the heels of President Barack Obama saying America can't continue with a "broken" immigration system.
Obama has stated that he supports comprehensive immigration reform that includes an eventual path to citizenship for millions of foreigners illegally in the United States. During his presidential campaign, he promised to make the issue a "top priority" during his first year in office.
Last week, Obama said immigration reform is necessary because the current system is "not good for American workers. It's dangerous for Mexican would-be workers who are trying to cross a dangerous border. It is putting a strain on border communities … And it keeps those undocumented workers in the shadows, which means they can be exploited at the same time as they're depressing U.S. wages."
Obama said his administration would first work to secure America's borders before trying to reform U.S. immigration policy.
"If the American people don't feel like you can secure the borders, then it's hard to strike a deal that would get people out of the shadows and on a pathway to citizenship who are already here, because the attitude of the average American is going to be, well, you're just going to have hundreds of thousands of more coming in each year," he said.
"On the other hand, showing that there is a more thoughtful approach than just raids of a handful of workers as opposed to, for example, taking seriously the violation of companies that sometimes are actively recruiting these workers to come in. That's again something we can start doing administratively."
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