At a meeting today with law enforcement organizations, President Obama made the case for comprehensive immigration reform by saying it is necessary "for our safety and security." He also said there is a "narrow window" of two or three months to pass legislation in Congress before election season derails further efforts.
Obama told law enforcement officials, "Our broken immigration system makes it harder for our law enforcement agencies to do their job. Our system is not fair to workers, is not fair to businesses and is not fair to law enforcement agencies… We're not hell bent on making sure that every letter of what's in the Senate bill is exactly what ultimately lands on my desk for signature…We've got this narrow window. The closer we get to the midterm elections, the harder it is to get things done around here. We've got maybe a window...of two, three months to get the ball rolling in the House of Representatives."
He urged police officials to join with evangelical Christians and business groups to pressure House Republicans. “People expect I’m going to be in favor of comprehensive immigration reform,” Obama said. “It’s more important to get over the hump when they hear from unexpected voices.”
Obama also said he thought Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, wants legislation to pass. "To their credit, I think Speaker Boehner and some of the other leaders there do believe that immigration reform's the right thing, but they've got to have a political space that allows them to get ahead and get it through their caucus and get it done," he said.
Politico reports that those who attended the meeting believed the Administration will change the Secure Communities program, which allows local law enforcement to communicate with ICE Agents and facilitates deportations. Illegal-alien advocates have complained that program picks up too many illegal aliens who are not serious criminals. Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo told reporters the program and other policies are likely to be revised to target those who pose a true threat to public safety.
Read more in USA Today.
Updated: Tue, May 13th 2014 @ 4:47pm EDT