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Obama says immigration reform should be made 'easy' for GOP

Nov. 5, 2013 at 1:39 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday he wants to make immigration reform "as easy as possible" for House Republicans to accept.

Obama met at the White House with business leaders to strategize on achieving comprehensive reform of the nation's immigration system -- something he has said repeatedly is broken.

Obama said he is encouraged a number of Republicans have told him they think reform is the right thing to do.

"The politics are challenging ... and we want to make it as easy ... as possible," he said in remarks before the meeting. "This is not an issue where we're looking for a political win. This is one where we're looking for a substantive win for the U.S. economy and the American people and the businesses that are represented here."

The president has said he thinks it's possible for reform to be achieved by the end of the year.

In earlier remarks on the issue, Obama has called for a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million people in the United States illegally.

"[Businesses] understand that if we are serious about border security, if we do a better job of streamlining the legal immigration system, if we are holding employers who aren't doing the right thing accountable, and we provide a pathway to citizenship for those who have paid a fine, learned English, are getting to the back of the line, taking their responsibilities -- that all together, these businesses are going to have more customers, we're going to see people who are currently working here, out of the shadows, paying taxes and getting right with the law," he said. "We have the opportunity when young people come to this country to study on our dime, making sure that if they're able and willing, they can stay here, start businesses of their own, contribute to our economy, help our exports."

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