Barack Obama emphasizes economic benefits of immigration overhaul
In a speech largely focused on job creation, Obama said the United States could strengthen its economy by attracting more high-tech workers from overseas and establishing a pathway to citizenship for those who entered the country illegally.
"Our country is stronger when we harness the talents and ingenuity of striving, hopeful immigrants," Obama said.
Unlike some of Obama's other proposals, an immigration plan stands a chance of passing both the Democratic-controlled Senate and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives because of the growing clout of the Latino electorate.
Obama emphasized the common ground that exists among a range of stakeholders on immigration, such as the need to reduce bureaucratic hurdles and attract top global talent.
"Let's get this done. Send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months, and I will sign it right away and America will be better for it," he said.
Obama's demand for quick action demonstrates how immigration has leaped to the top of the agenda after years of inaction.
Obama is eager to act on a top priority of Latinos, who favored him over Republican Mitt Romney in the Nov. 6 election by 71 percent to 27 percent, helping Obama win politically divided states such as Florida and Nevada.
Republicans, meanwhile, worry that they will be consigned to irrelevancy if they do
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