President Barack Obama says that the bipartisan group of senators who are working on legislation for immigration reform are following a “reasonable timetable” and has suggested that he will push forward to try and have a bill passed within the first half of 2013.
In a couple of interviews that took place the day after he began his public campaign for US immigration reform, Obama told Spanish language networks Telemundo and Univision that he intends to put the full weight of his office behind the effort. “I can guarantee that I will put everything I’ve got behind it,” Obama informed Telemundo news anchor Jose Diaz-Balart. “We’re putting our shoulder to the wheel.”
The effort began on Jan. 29 when Obama made a speech that outlined his main priorities for such a bill, including providing a path to U.S. citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants who already live in the United States. However Obama also encouraged the senators who have been crafting compromise legislation and claims that their principles were essentially the same as his own.
That being said, the President intends to put the Senate on the clock, threatening to have his own legislation sent up if the process does not move forward in a “timely fashion”. “The important point here is that we’ve been working on this for a long time,” Obama says. “We know what the issues are. I’m hopeful that this can get done, and I don’t think that it should take many, many months.”