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Obama launches public push for immigration reform


07:02, January 30, 2013

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday officially unveiled his immigration reform proposals in a highlighted speech in Las Vegas, Nevada, which marked his first public push in the second term over the long-term divisive issue.

"Now is the time," said Obama in a speech in Del Sol high school, trying to generate public support and push lawmakers to fix the "broken immigration system."

The president laid out a comprehensive and ambitious package to overhaul the immigration system in a bid to give earned citizenship to young illegal immigrants who were brought to the country as children, as well as awarding green cards to foreign young high-end workforce.

There are estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States, who have been as the president put in his speech "woven into the fabric of our lives." Obama's proposals to tackle the illegal immigration issue include preventing more from coming into the country by strengthening border security and providing those already in the country an earned path to citizenship.

The comprehensive package also includes goals to "staple" green cards to foreign graduate students educated in the United States with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and to create a "startup visa" for job- creating foreign entrepreneurs.

"We need Congress to act on a comprehensive approach that finally deals with the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are in this country right now," said Obama.

Obama also applauded a bipartisan group of Senators' announcement of a blueprint to guide immigration overhaul Monday.

"The good news is that -- for the first time in many years -- the Republicans and Democrats seem ready to tackle this problem together. Members of both parties, in both chambers, are actively working on a solution," said the president.


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