national legislation

ICE's Chris Crane Blasts Lobbyists Pushing Amnesty

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) National Council president Chris Crane, who represents about 7,000 ICE agents and support staff, wrote to a group of lobbyists, special interests, and political figures on Tuesday to question why they support granting amnesty to America’s at least 11 million illegal aliens.

“Each of you receiving this letter today has played a major role in pushing so-called ‘comprehensive immigration reform,’ the Rubio-Schumer immigration bill or is pressing the House to advance similar legislation,” Crane wrote to the group of special interests. “During recent years, ICE officers have documented extraordinary political abuses at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and ICE that have threatened public safety and undermined the ability of ICE agents and officers to enforce the laws enacted by Congress."

"I cannot recall any of you speaking out publicly against these abuses or requesting a meeting with ICE Officers to address our concerns,” Crane stated bluntly.

Recipients of the letter included Karl Rove; Chamber of Commerce president Tom Donohue; National Council of La Raza president Janet Murguia; Casa de Maryland executive director Gustavo Torres; National Council of Chain Restaurants executive director Rob Green; American Action Forum president Doug Holtz-Eakin; casino mogul and major GOP donor Sheldon Adelson; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg; and corporate executives from companies like:

  • General Electric
  • Disney
  • McDonald’s
  • Marriott Hotels
  • Coca-Cola
  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • Hilton Hotels
  • Hyatt Hotels
  • General Mills
  • Wendy’s
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Darden Restaurants (Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Longhorn Steakhouse, Seasons 52, the Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Eddie V’s, and Yard House)
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Verizon

Also included on the letter were executive of lobbyist associations like the National Association of Home Builders and the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

“ICE officers arguably know more about our nation’s broken immigration system than any group in the United States,” Crane wrote. “Yet President Barack Obama and the Gang of Eight actively prohibited them from having input. Only influential and affluent groups and wealthy individuals like you were given an opportunity to provide real input on our nation’s new immigration laws."

"As ICE officers fought a very public battle seeking to add measures that would provide for public safety and national security, you did nothing to assist or support us, but in fact—through your advocacy – put officers and the public at risk,” he claimed.

“As a result, the Senate passed an immigration bill that will fail America,” Crane wrote. “While this legislation may satisfy your personal financial or political objectives, it undermines immigration enforcement and worsens the immigration problems currently experienced in the United States.”

Crane added that the letter recipients are using their lobbyist influence to “fight for special protections and legalization for violent criminal offenders and gang members illegally in the United States” but they “must realize that in doing so you sacrifice the safety of every man, woman and child residing in the United States, regardless of citizenship.”

“Certainly you must know that when you fight for legislation that protects criminal aliens who assault law enforcement officers, you increase the risk to every police officer, sheriff’s deputy, and federal agent across our nation; officers whose lives and welfare should hold some value to you and the organizations you represent,” Crane wrote.

Crane said it is up the House of Representatives to protect the safety of Americans from lobbyists.

“Only the U.S. House of Representatives now stands between the American people and the potential destruction of federal immigration enforcement,” Crane wrote. “Yet the groups represented on this letter are spending enormous sums of money or wielding enormous amounts of influence in an attempt to intimidate the House into passing a plan similar to that adopted by the Senate – a bill that not one member of the Senate had the time to read before voting on.”

Crane said that America’s future depends on these lobbyists being stopped.

“It is a sad day in America when the political class in Washington, and groups that can deliver votes and money, have more influence in writing our immigration laws than everyday American citizens and the law enforcement officers sworn to protect them,” Crane wrote. “I hope you stand with law enforcement and stand for the rule of law -- if for no other reason than out of compassion for the lives that we can protect if we finally begin to enforce our nation’s immigration laws.”

Crane then turned his attention to directly questioning the intent of these lobbyists’ and special interests’ push for amnesty.

“Are you really willing to support an immigration plan that will put officers and the public in danger simply because it includes special items that advance the financial or political interests of your group or company?” Crane asked. “Are we in law enforcement not worthy of your respect? Do you believe that our experience and advice is without value in creating new immigration legislation?"

"I am requesting a meeting with each of you to discuss the answers to these questions, as well as to speak to you about the field experience of immigration officers and agents who daily witness a side of our nation’s immigration crisis that many in the media and indeed our government actively work to conceal from the American public,” he said.

Many of these special interests actually met with President Barack Obama on Tuesday at the White House to plot out an immigration push on Capitol Hill. Obama met with McDonald’s, Marriott, and other CEOs and executives on Tuesday at the White House to plan an amnesty strategy.

“What's been encouraging is, is that there are a number of House Republicans who have said, we think this is the right thing to do, as well,” Obama said about the meeting, according to USA Today. “And it's my estimation that we actually have votes to get comprehensive immigration reform done in the House right now.” Read more about ICE's Chris Crane Blasts Lobbyists Pushing Amnesty

House Republican Circulating Petition to Push Immigration Reform

The third House Republican to support the comprehensive immigration bill introduced by House Democrats is circulating a petition to House Republicans to pressure House Republican leaders to bring up comprehensive immigration reform legislation this year.

On Friday, Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) said he was "hoping to get a decent number" of signatures, according to the Washington Post.

Reps. Jeff Denham (R-CA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) are the other two Republicans who have come out in support of the Senate's immigration bill that provides a pathway to citizenship for the country's illegal immigrants with less stringent border security provisions.

Valadao said he is not calling on House Republican leadership to hold a vote on the Democrat bill but on immigration reform in general before the end of the year.

House Republicans are reportedly working on various piecemeal bills in order to go conference with the Senate, where a pathway to citizenship provision will most likely prevail. The Congressional Budget Office determined that the Senate bill would lower the wages of working class Americans.

If House Republicans do not bring up immigration reform this year, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) recently said Republicans may try to pass comprehensive immigration reform next year--after the primaries--when Republicans do not have to fear challenges from the conservative wing of the party. Read more about House Republican Circulating Petition to Push Immigration Reform

Anti-Amnesty Activists Call for Flags at Half-Mast for Those Killed by Illegal Aliens

Anti-amnesty activists have called on President Barack Obama to lower flags at the White House and other government institutions to half-mast on Sunday to honor Americans who have been killed by illegal immigrants.

The call is part of the Remembrance Project’s and the Tea Party Immigration Coalition’s “National Remembrance Day for Those Killed by Illegal Aliens.” In a statement provided to Breitbart News, Remembrance Project founder Maria Espinoza said that her group is planning vigils and events in states across the country.

“Our children are being ignored by politicians," Espinoza said. "It is time politicians ‘represent’ Americans or admit they cannot fulfill the job they promised to do and resign.”

In a letter to President Obama, the Tea Party Immigration Coalition wrote that this administration’s non-enforcement directives have drastic consequences leading to “unnecessary harm to Americans.”

“Mr. President, we are asking you to order all national flags to be flown at half-staff on November 3rd to honor our fallen citizens, victimized not only by illegal alien criminals, but by the federal government's refusal to secure the border and enforce our immigration laws,” the group wrote.

A press request sent to the White House from Breitbart News seeking a response to this call has thus far gone unanswered.

Events will occur across the country, Espinoza told Breitbart News, over the course of Sunday and Monday in an effort to honor the fallen. For instance, Jamiel Shaw, the father of Jamiel Shaw, Jr., will hold a vigil starting at 3:30 PM local time in Los Angeles at 2136 Fifth Street, the site of the Jamiel Shaw Memorial, where the young man was killed by an illegal immigrant a few short years ago. Shaw’s father has testified before the House Judiciary Committee about the incident and called for stronger border security and interior enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws.

At the Iowa State Capitol on Monday, Nov. 4, the Iowa Minutemen will be holding their First Annual Night of Remembrance from 5 PM to 9 PM on the grounds’ West Mall.

On Sunday at 5:30 PM local time in Phoenix, Arizona, activists will hold a vigil at Wesley Bowlin Park at the corner of 17th avenue and Adams street. There, activists will draw attention to the case of Robert Krentz—a border rancher who is believed to have been murdered by an illegal immigrant.

Those are just a few of the events. For others, Espinoza said to check her organization’s website or to contact local activists. Read more about Anti-Amnesty Activists Call for Flags at Half-Mast for Those Killed by Illegal Aliens

Who does Congressman Kurt Schrader Represent?

Alert date: 
October 31, 2013
Alert body: 

Please plan to attend Representative Kurt Schrader's upcoming Townhall meetings when he visits a town near you next week.  Ask him why he continues to support the S 744 the massive amnesty bill?  Doesn't he care about the nearly 16% unemployment rate here in Oregon?  How would an amnesty help that?  Ask him!

Invite a friend or neighbor to join you.  Remember - he works for YOU!

If you get a response, or he says anything about the immigration issue, jobs or anything else - please tell OFIR about it  -  ofir@oregonir.org

Dallas Town Hall

Tuesday, November 5th
6 to 7 p.m.
Dallas Civic Center
945 SE Jefferson St, Dallas 97338
 

Newport Town Hall

Sunday, November 10th
Noon to 1 p.m.
Newport City Hall
169 SW Coast Hwy, Newport 97365
 

Pacific City Town Hall

Sunday, November 10th
3 to 4 p.m.
Kiawanda Community Center
34600 Cape Kiwanda Dr, Pacific City 97135

 


 

Michael McCaul opposes immigration talks

A key House Republican said Wednesday that he was urging his leadership to back off any formal negotiations with the Senate on immigration reform, reflecting a growing refusal from the GOP to reconcile the Gang of Eight legislation with any immigration bill that the House may pass.

Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, has been advocating for a bipartisan border-security bill that cleared his panel with unanimous support in May. That bill has lagged on the way to the House floor since, but McCaul indicated that his legislation isn’t meant to be a jumping-off point for broader discussions on overhauling the nation’s immigration laws.

And McCaul said he has relayed that message to the chamber’s top Republican — Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) — directly.

“I am not gonna go down the road of conferencing with the Senate [comprehensive immigration reform] bill,” McCaul said on conservative radio host Laura Ingraham’s show Wednesday. “And I told Boehner that he needs to stand up and make that very clear that we are not going to conference with the Senate on this. We’re not going to conference with the Senate, period.

“I am not pushing for immigration reform, I’ve been against amnesty my entire career,” McCaul continued. “I’m just interested in getting the security piece done. And we have to do that, first and foremost.”

A handful of conservatives in the House Republican Conference have said for several months that they would oppose going to a conference committee with the Senate over immigration, going as far as warning that they would vote against any reform bill on the floor to deny it the votes it needs to pass. But that opposition appears more fervent now, particularly after a fiscal battle this month that left House Republicans bruised: Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), who has worked on immigration reform, has said it would be “crazy” for his party to negotiate with Democrats after the shutdown fight.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), one of the Senate bill’s authors and arguably its most valuable conservative backer, also distanced himself this week from the legislation he helped write and threw his support behind the House Republicans’ piecemeal approach to immigration reform. His office has said any House-Senate conference committee should limit its scope to whatever the House passes.

McCaul also said he was invited to the White House to discuss immigration with President Barack Obama on Tuesday, but he declined. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), who has been working for years on immigration legislation, had also been slated to head to the White House — but that meeting was abruptly cancelled with no clear reason.

“I saw it as a political trap,” McCaul said of a meeting with Obama.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters earlier Wednesday that those meetings didn’t happen Tuesday because of “some genuine scheduling challenges on both ends.”

“But we’re going to continue to be in touch with House Republicans,” Earnest continued. “And whether that is a meeting with the president or a meeting at the staff level, we’re going to continue to solicit ideas from House Republicans about how we can move this ball forward.”

Still, those advocating for a sweeping comprehensive bill got some good news Wednesday when a third House GOP lawmaker broke ranks to co-sponsor Democratic immigration legislation that the party has been circulating to pressure Republicans.

Rep. David Valadao, a freshman Republican from California whose district is 70 percent Latino, said the move was a way to bolster his message: “Addressing immigration reform in the House cannot wait.”

“I am serious about making real progress and will remain committed to doing whatever it takes to repair our broken immigration system,” Valadao said in a statement. Read more about Michael McCaul opposes immigration talks

5% Think Feds Very Likely to Seal Border if New Immigration Law Passes

Most voters continue to put more border control first in any immigration reform plan, but fewer than ever trust the federal government to actually control the border if a new plan is passed. Voters also lean toward a go-slow piece-by-piece approach to immigration reform over a comprehensive bill.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 25% of Likely U.S. Voters think it is even somewhat likely that the federal government will actually secure the border and prevent illegal immigration if that’s part of new immigration legislation. Sixty-five percent (65%) consider it unlikely. This includes only five percent (5%) who say the government is Very Likely to secure the border if it’s part of legislation that would give legal status to those already here illegally and 24% who feel it’s Not At All Likely. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Confidence in the likelihood of the federal government actually securing the border fell to a previous low of 28% in late June from a high of 45% in January. This skepticism continues to be perhaps the biggest problem immigration reformers face.

Republicans want proof that the border has been secured to prevent further illegal immigration before allowing legalization of those now here illegally to go forward. The president believes the legalization process and the implementation of more border security should take place at the same time.

But only 18% of voters believe those who are now in this country illegally should be granted legal status right away. Sixty-two percent (62%) disagree and think legalization should come only after the border is secured. Nineteen percent (19%) are not sure. These attitudes are unchanged from past surveys.

Voters are evenly divided over the immigration plan passed by the U.S. Senate that would further secure the border and give most of those who entered the country illegally legal status to stay here. Forty percent (40%) favor such a plan, while 40% oppose it. Twenty percent (20%) are undecided.

Support for the plan stood at 53% in early September when voters were asked, “If you knew that the border would really be secured to prevent future illegal immigration, would you favor or oppose this plan?”

Twenty-nine percent (29%) think the House of Representatives should pass the comprehensive immigration reform plan already approved by the Senate. But 44% believe the House should review that legislation piece by piece and approve only the parts it likes. Twenty-seven percent (27%) are undecided.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on October 20-21, 2013 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Sixty-four percent (64%) of voters agree with the president that it is at least somewhat important for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation this year, with 33% who say it’s Very Important. Twenty-nine percent (29%) don’t share that sense of urgency, including 12% who say it’s Not At All Important to pass immigration reform legislation this year.

Just 28%, however, think it is even somewhat likely that comprehensive legislation will pass the Senate and the House and be signed by the president this year.

As with most major issues these days, there are sharp partisan differences of opinion. Fifty-two percent (52%) of Democrats, for example, favor the comprehensive plan passed by the Senate that includes more border security and a pathway to citizenship for those here illegally, but 69% of Republicans oppose it. Voters not affiliated with either major party approve of the plan by a much narrower 45% to 39% margin.

Eighty-four percent (84%) of GOP voters and 70% of unaffiliateds feel legalization should come only after the border is secured to prevent future illegal immigration, but just 40% of Democrats agree.

Most voters in all three groups think the federal government is unlikely to follow through and actually secure the border if the new law is passed. But Republicans and unaffiliated voters are a lot more skeptical than Democrats are.

Sixty-two percent (62%) of the Political Class believe the government is likely to secure the border, but 71% of Mainstream voters disagree.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of voters who favor the Senate bill want the House to pass it as is. Seventy-two percent (72%) of those who oppose that bill want the House to go through it piece by piece and approve only the parts it likes.

California recently became the latest state to authorize driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants, but 68% of voters think illegal immigrants should not be eligible for driver’s licenses in their state.

Only 32% now believe that if a woman comes to this country illegally and gives birth to a child here, that child should automatically become a U.S. citizen. That's the lowest level of support for the current U.S. policy to date.

But 45% say if a family is not in the country legally, their children should still be allowed to attend public school. Forty-two percent disagree.

Sixty-eight percent (68%) believe that immigration when done within the law is good for America.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

Please sign up for the Rasmussen Reports daily e-mail update (it’s free) or follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Let us keep you up to date with the latest public opinion news. Read more about 5% Think Feds Very Likely to Seal Border if New Immigration Law Passes

The George Soros-funded National Immigration Forum (NIF) is organizing a “fly-in” of what it calls conservatives from across the country aimed at lobbying House Republicans for an amnesty bill.

According to USA Today’s immigration beat writer Alan Gomez, NIF is planning to organize the fly in with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg’s FWD.us, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Partnership for a New American Economy.

“The fly-in is being organized not by conservative groups, but organizations that have focused on legalizing millions of people who are in the U.S. illegally and changing the legal immigration system to bring in more foreign workers,” Gomez wrote on Monday. He noted that the 300 activists for an immigration grand bargain were looking to make what he described as a “conservative pitch” for amnesty.

Gomez noted NIF’s Executive Director, Ali Noorani, who “has advocated for changes in immigration law to help legal and undocumented immigrants for three decades," claimed "the broad collection coming to Washington represents 'the conservative base of the Republican Party.'"

The event will take place on Oct. 28, coinciding with President Barack Obama’s and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s renewed push against House Speaker John Boehner for amnesty. Now that Obama, Reid, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are publicly pushing for amnesty after many mainstream media outlets declared it dead earlier this year, Soros’ groups are trying to make it appear as though conservatives support immigration legislation like the Senate-passed “Gang of Eight” bill. Ultimately, the left’s goal is to get the House to pass a series of piecemeal immigration bills and then combine them with the Senate bill in a conference committee.

Soros is heavily involved in funding the lobbying for amnesty. After Breitbart News exposed NIF for being Soros-funded while running a campaign to make it appear as though evangelicals support granting amnesty to illegal immigrants, Noorani admitted his group accepts funding from Soros. Noorani denies that the funding was being used for the Evangelical Immigration Table (EIT), a project that his group runs the operations of, but admits that millions of NIF’s dollars come from Soros and that about 10 percent of its budget this year comes from the leftwing billionaire.

Soros is also intimately connected to Facebook’s Zuckerberg’s FWD.us push for amnesty. Zuckerberg hired Soros’ former chief financial strategist Stanley Druckenmiller. Druckenmiller served as Soros’ chief strategist for more than a decade.

Mitt Romney's top 2012 campaign donor, Wall Street hedge fund manager Paul Singer, also funds NIF, as Breitbart News has reported. Read more about The George Soros-funded National Immigration Forum (NIF) is organizing a “fly-in” of what it calls conservatives from across the country aimed at lobbying House Republicans for an amnesty bill.

Radical approach - like spoiled children

The radical tactics being encouraged now by immigration advocates may be more than compassionate Americans are willing to tolerate.

It should be pointed out that any of the people here illegally are free to leave if they are unhappy.  In fact, I encourage them to do so!  But, chaining themselves to busses and throwing temper tantrums out of frustration that they can't get everything they want from a country in which they don't belong is beyond the limit of most rational thinkers.

"The people will take power back into their own hands and set a true example of leadership that the Beltway will have to follow,” said Marisa Franco, campaign organizer for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, which helped coordinate some of the more provocative actions. 

The culture of corruption from which many of these people claim to be fleeing has now arrived here in the U.S. and it's spreading. 

Read more about the new radical approach to immigration reform we can all look forward to. Read more about Radical approach - like spoiled children

They're Not Going To Take It Anymore: New Generation Of Immigrant Advocates Take Radical Approach

The frustration, say immigration advocates, is reaching a fever pitch.

That is why, many say, recent weeks have seen activists use chains and pipes to tie themselves to the tires of buses that carry immigrants slated for deportation to court, block traffic on Capitol Hill and get arrested, surround Tucson police when they targeted two immigrants during a traffic stop, and chain themselves and block the entrance of a federal detention center.

More such actions, they vow, are coming.

“It's absolutely out of frustration and impatience,” said Marisa Franco, campaign organizer for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, which helped coordinate some of the more provocative actions. "Immigrant communities who are losing 1,100 loved ones every day to deportation cannot wait for Congress to end its political games or for the President to rediscover his moral compass," she added.

The people will take power back into their own hands and set a true example of leadership that the Beltway will have to follow.

- Marisa Franco, National Day Laborer Organizing Network

"The people will take power back into their own hands and set a true example of leadership that the Beltway will have to follow,” Franco vowed.

The more radical approach to protesting the record number of deportations that that have occurred under the Obama administration, and the stalled efforts in Congress to work on an immigration reform bill, differs from the more traditional nature of immigration demonstrations.

They consisted, in public, chiefly of vigils, rallies, and marches. On the private level, more established immigration advocacy organizations leaned heavily on telephone and email campaigns, press conferences, and direct communication with members of Congress and their staffs.

“These organizations stopped having faith in any progress for immigration reform,” said Michael Young, who is a sociology professor at the University of Texas. “They’re distancing themselves from the national, more moderate organizations that said you have to worry about this will come off or how it will play to the national, broader audience.”

After seeing the DREAM Act, a measure that called for giving a path to legal status to undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as minors, pass the House in 2010 but then die in the Senate, and see immigration reform efforts practically fizzle this year in Congress, Young said, “they got to where they don’t care.”

Many feel that being measured, Young said, has yielded no results.

“That’s what the ‘good immigrants’ have been doing for years, and what has it won them,” he said. “The Obama administration has deported almost 2 million people.”

Younger immigrants, known as DREAMers, began walking away from the more mainstream advocacy movement about three years ago, after seeing the defeat of the DREAM Act in Congress.

“They were raised by the [mainstream advocacy] groups, which helped [DREAMers] with their message,” Young said. “But then they started seeing them as compromised, and leaving them made them feel unleashed.”

Some of the more provocative DREAMer groups started using terms such as “non-profit industrial complex” to refer to the more Old Guard organizations that were involved with immigration reform efforts.
The more recent actions have focused on fighting deportations – mano a mano, and, often, at the local level, experts say.

They’ve also branched out beyond DREAMers.

Last Friday, the actions outside a federal courthouse in Tucson prompted a judge to cancel deportation proceedings.

Some 15 people were arrested after immigration rights activists blocked two buses bringing suspected illegal immigrants to a federal courthouse in Tucson. A few days later, on Tuesday, officers in Tucson pepper-sprayed members of a crowd trying to prevent U.S. Border Patrol agents from detaining two people who originally police encountered during a traffic stop.

The Tucson Police Department dispatched 100 officers to deal with protests at two locations, something that Sgt. Chris Wildmer told reporters entailed pulling them off patrols throughout the city.

“Something has to give,” he said, according to local media.

Demonstrators also have held hunger strikes and demonstrations outside offices of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, taking the battle right to the source.

They are assailing members of Congress, of both parties, and Obama, who made a campaign promise in 2008 to reform immigration in a way that would, among other things, provide a path to legal status for many of the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants.

“The promise the President made in 2008 is now so empty that people have forgotten he even made it,” Franco said. “Unless he actually uses his authority to provide real relief, he'll only be remembered as the Deporter-in-Chief.”

Officials of immigration organizations that lean on traditional ways of pushing for change say they understand the underlying frustration that is driving the more aggressive tactics.

They say they do not plan to change their style, and they say they will not criticize the more radical approach.

“The landscape has changed so much because enforcement has been so intense,” said Angela Kelley, vice president for immigration policy at the Center for American Progress in Washington D.C. “Communities are feeling the impact of the increased deportations. They go right to the heart of so many communities. That’s translating into more vigorous advocacy and the sense that ‘I’ve got nothing to lose.’” Read more about They're Not Going To Take It Anymore: New Generation Of Immigrant Advocates Take Radical Approach

Obama plans immigration push after fiscal crisis ends

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.

Although the president had sought comprehensive reform, he said last month he would be open to the House taking a piece-by-piece approach if that would get the job done.

Obama on Tuesday blamed House Speaker John Boehner for preventing immigration from coming up for a vote.

"We had a very strong Democratic and Republican vote in the Senate," he said. "The only thing right now that's holding it back is, again, Speaker Boehner not willing to call the bill on the floor of the House of Representatives."

Boehner said the sweeping Senate bill would not pass the House and has said the lower chamber would tackle the issue in smaller sections that would include stricter provisions on border protection


  Read more about Obama plans immigration push after fiscal crisis ends

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