President Obama reiterated Tuesday that immigration reform legislation must include a path to citizenship for people in the country illegally, a warning to House Republicans who have not endorsed such a plan.
“It does not make sense to me, if we’re going to 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 the Spanish-language network Telemundo’s Denver affiliate.
The president said that denying undocumented immigrants the chance to become citizens would leave them “permanently resigned to a lower status. That’s not who we are as Americans.”
Obama’s remarks came during a round of interviews with four Spanish-language stations in Denver, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York/New Jersey as he sought to ramp up the pressure on the House to support a comprehensive reform bill passed by the Senate last month. The interviewers focused almost entirely on immigration during their one-on-one sessions with the president.