President Barack Obama is pushing for fast action on a sweeping US immigration reform bill, stating that any last minute obstacles can be resolved and he made a prediction that historic legislation could be passed by Congress by the end of the summer. Obama made this prediction during several interviews on Spanish-language television networks, repeatedly stating his confidence in the bipartisan Senate group – known as the “Gang of Eight” – who seem to be on the verge of unveiling a draft bill.
Obama also stated that while he is still ready to step in with a bill of his own should negotiations break down, he is not expecting such a step to ultimately be needed. “If we have a bill introduced at the beginning of next month as these senators indicate it will be, then I’m confident that we can get it done certainly before the end of summer,” the President told Telemundo.
Although a massive overhaul of the patchwork immigration laws in the United States is one of the top priorities of Obama’s second term in the White House, he has left the negotiations to Congress almost completely, believing that a bill that is crafted by Capitol Hill has a greater chance of winning the support of Republicans than one that is overly influenced by the President.
Obama did his best to avoid being drawn into some of the pricklier policy issues that are as yet unfinished in the Senate talks, but said he thought it was unlikely that the legislation would be doomed by the split between labor and business over the issue of wages for new low-skilled workers.