Obama digs in on 'path to citizenship' for illegals
President Obama insists that any immigration bill that reaches his desk must have a "path to citizenship" for illegals - despite there being absolutely no chance that the GOP controlled House will include it.
President Barack Obama said Tuesday an immigration reform bill without a path to citizenship for those in the United States illegally "does not make sense."
"It does not make sense to me, if we're gonna make this once-in-a-generation effort to finally fix the system, to leave the status of 11 million people or so unresolved," Obama said in an interview with a Telemundo-owned TV station in Denver.
Such a plan, he said, would run counter to American values.
"It's not who we are as Americans," Obama said, according to a transcript of the interview. "That's never been our tradition."
The president conducted interviews with four Spanish-language television stations Tuesday as part of the White House's push for immigration. While a comprehensive plan passed in the Senate in June, it has yet to be considered in the House, where leaders have advocated a piecemeal approach to reform of late. But the president warned against tackling the effort in stages, where there could be a "tendency I think to put off the hard stuff until the end."
"If you've eaten your dessert before you've eaten your meal, at least with my children, sometimes they don't end up eating their vegetables," Obama told a Telemundo-owned station in Dallas, according to the transcript. "We need to, I think, do this as a complete package."
Although the president acknowledged a bill is unlikely to pass before the August Congressional recess, he said he's hopeful a bill will pass by the fall.
"It's not who we are as Americans"? Rewarding law breaking doesn't run "counter to American values"? It's really not that complicated, although Mr. Obama is performing logical somersaults trying to justify his position.
For House Republicans, they are coming under increasing pressure to do something about the illegals already here. There is talk of creating a "path to legalization" with some hazy requirements that might lead to citizenship some day, but that idea probably won't fly either.
President Obama is going to have to decide whether to take half a loaf on immigration or nothing at all. He can get his guest worker program, border security, visa reform, and perhaps even a modified DREAM Act.
What he won't get is a path to citizenship. So if the entire bill is vetoed because it doesn't have amnesty, the onus for failure will be on him.