Obama to Push Immigration Reform Once Republican Hostage-Taking Is Resolved

UFCW Local 1546 members rally for immigration reform in downtown Chicago.

President Barack Obama yesterday told the Spanish-language Los Angeles affiliate of Univision that “the day after” the budget and debt ceiling debacle is resolved, he will push for passage of comprehensive immigration reform.

“Well, keep in mind this is not just a Latino issue. This is an American issue. We know our economy will grow faster if immigration reform passes. We know businesses will do better if immigration reform passes. We know that the deficits will be reduced if immigration reform passes; because people coming out of the shadows, paying more taxes, growing, the growth accelerating, all that brings down the deficit, so this is important to everybody.”

Once the Republican budget and deficit ceiling hostage-taking is over, he said, “…you know, the day after I’m going to be pushing to say, call a vote on immigration reform. And if I have to join with other advocates and continue to speak out on that, and keep pushing, I’m going to do so because I think it’s really important for the country. And now is the time to do it.”

His comments came a week after thousands of immigrants and union, community and faith activists marched and rallied on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., delivering the message: “The time is now” for a vote on comprehensive immigration reform with a road map to citizenship.

The conservative Wall Street Journal delivered a message of its own Oct. 15, in an editorial urging Republicans to end the budget and debt ceiling mess: “It’s time to wrap up this comedy of political errors.”

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UFCW Local 1546 represents workers in Illinois and Indiana in a diverse range of industries including grocery and drug retailers; meat cutting, processing, and packing; chemical works; nursing home and healthcare facilities, and many others.