Obama Urges Hispanics to 'Send Strong Message' on Immigration Reform

Image: Obama Urges Hispanics to 'Send Strong Message' on Immigration Reform

Friday, 14 Feb 2014 05:21 PM

By Cathy Burke

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President Obama blames Republicans "who have refused so far to act" for the lack of immigration reform, and urged Hispanic voters to press lawmakers to "send a strong message" to Congress to pass a bill.

“I’d like to get it done this year," Obama said in an interview with Univision Radio host Raul Brindis airing Friday, Fusion television reports.

“I believe it will get done before my presidency is over."

Latinos, who voted for Obama by a nearly three-to-one margin in 2012, could help make that happen, the president said in the interview with Univision radio, which bills itself as the largest Hispanic radio network in the U.S.

“The main thing people can do right now is put pressure on Republicans who have refused so far to act,” Obama urged. “And I think sending a strong message to them that this is the right thing to do, it’s important to do, it’s the fair thing to do, and it will actually improve the economy and give people a chance.”

The president said he'd been able to prevent deportations of younger people with administrative muscle, but conceded it's not enough.

“I’ve been able to prevent deportations of younger people with, the Dream Act kids, by administrative action,” he said. “But the problem is that’s just a temporary action that I’ve been taking. That’s not yet the law that’s been passed by Congress. And it doesn’t help their parents and others who are in the similar situations.”

Latinos have urged Obama to take executive action stem the flow of a record 1.8 million deportations occurring during his tenure, Fusion reported.

But earlier this month, House Speaker John Boehner said Obama himself is the problem, The Hill reported.

“Now he’s running around the country telling everyone that he’s going to keep acting on his own,” Boehner said on Feb. 6.

"He’s talking about his phone and his pen and he’s feeding more distrust about whether he’s committed to the rule of law. There’s widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce the law. And it’s going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes.”

Boehner had released some possible revisions to last year's Senate-passed immigration reform bill, but says Obama won't cooperate on a host of other issues, including allowing natural gas pipelines.

“The president is asking us to move one of the biggest bills of his presidency, and yet he’s shown very little willingness to work with us on the smallest of things,” Boehner said.

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