WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that stalled immigration reform would be a top priority once the fiscal crisis has been resolved.
“Once that’s done, you know, the day after, I’m going to be pushing to say, call a vote on immigration reform,” he told the Los Angeles affiliate of Spanish-language television network Univision.
The president’s domestic agenda has been sidetracked in his second term by one problem after another. As he coped with the revelation of domestic surveillance programs, chemical weapons in Syria, and a fiscal battle that has shut down the U.S. government and threatens a debt default, immigration has been relegated to the back burner.
But Obama, who won re-election with overwhelming Hispanic backing, had hoped to make reforms easing the plight of the 11 million immigrants who are in the United States illegally.
In June, the Senate passed an immigration overhaul, but House of Representatives Republicans are divided over the granting of legal status to those in the country illegally, a step many see as rewarding lawbreakers.
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