Obama Says Congress must Work with him on Immigration Reform

In a recent roundtable meeting with journalists from Spanish language publications, President Barack Obama said he cannot significantly reform immigration enforcement practices and naturalization procedures without the cooperation of Congress, Efe reports.

According to the source, the president reiterated his intention to pass comprehensive immigration reform, including the institution of a path toward citizenship for undocumented immigrants already living in the United States; however, because his duty as chief executive is to enforce the laws passed by the legislative branch, he said he is limited in what kind of change he can effect without support from the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

Obama pointed to steps he has taken to improve the situation of immigrants, both legal and illegal, in the country, including his recent order that immigration enforcement agencies review all pending deportation cases and only pursue those involving dangerous criminals. He told the journalists present that the jobs bill he recently introduced will have an enormous positive impact on the immigrant community, especially the many Latino construction workers who would be employed on infrastructure projects.

A recent Gallup poll indicated Obama’s approval among Latino voters fell from 78 to 48 percent between June 2009 and August 2011, which according to the Jewish Journal is his largest decline among any demographic group.