President Obama is to outline his plan for immigration reform at an event in Las Vegas on Tuesday.
The White House announced Friday that Obama would be unveiling a comprehensive plan, just one week into his second term as US President.
Irish American advocates welcomed the move.”We look forward to reviewing the bill and working with our friends in Congress on both sides of the aisle to help pass it ,” said Ciaran Staunton president of the Irish lobby for Immigration Reform.
“The Irish have been unfairly shut out of America since 1965. We need to address future flow as well as our undocumented who are here,”. he said
In a statement, the White House said the president's proposal would call for legislation to create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
On Friday Obama met with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and assured them that reform efforts would be "a top priority" in his second term.
“The President was pleased to hear from CHC members and noted that they share the same vision, including that any legislation must include a path to earned citizenship,” the White House statement said.
“The President further noted that there is no excuse for stalling or delay.”
House Democratic Caucus Chair Xavier Becerra said in a statement following the meeting that it was clear Obama is determined to fix “our long broken immigration system.”
“The President expressed a great sense of urgency and that comprehensive immigration reform, including an earned path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, is his top legislative priority.”
According to the Associated Press, the White House will unveil its plan separate from a bipartisan Senate working group, that is expected to outlines their proposals next week also.
The president has said that he is "very confident that we can get immigration reform done," and suggested he would debut his plan early in his second term.
"I think it should include a continuation of the strong border security measures that we’ve taken, because we have to secure our borders," Obama said at a press conference shortly after winning re-election.
"I think it should contain serious penalties for companies that are purposely hiring undocumented workers and taking advantage of them. And I do think that there should be a pathway for legal status for those who are living in this country, are not engaged in criminal activity, are here simply to work."
The news comes as a new poll this week shows the majority of Americans now back citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
The majority of Americans now favor undocumented immigrants being given a path to citizenship, according to the latest poll.
The Associated Press-GfK poll shows that 62 percent of Americans now support allowing undocumented immigrants to remain in the US.
The results come as Republicans continue to reconsider their stance on immigration, following the party’s low support from Latino voters in November’s election.
The poll suggests that more than six in ten Americans now favor finding a way for undocumented immigrants to remain in the US.
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The research shows the Democratic party are more trusted to handle the issue, with a 41 percent to 34 percent lead over Republicans.
A majority of GOP voters (53 percent) now favor proposed immigration reform, an increase of 22 percentage points from 2010. In comparison 72 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of Independents also support such a move.
One poll participant, Nick Nanos, 66, of Bellmore, New York, said he thinks a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented would honor the Americans’ history as a nation built by immigrants.
"We act as if our grandparents got here legally. Don't want to ask a single Indian about that," Nanos said.
"I don't think that most of us can solidly come to a point where our grandparents or great-grandparents or great-great-grandparents were here legally. What does that even mean?"
Melissa Johnson, 40, of Porter, Texas, disagreed.
"I think there were generations of people that came over here legally, and just because your parents snuck you in or snuck in while pregnant with you doesn't give you automatic citizenship," she said. "I think they should send them all back home."
The Associated Press-GfK Poll was conducted Jan. 10-14, 2013, by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications. It involved landline and cellphone interviews with 1,004 adults nationwide.
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