President Barack Obama said he would support an immigration reform bill in the House of Representatives if Congressmen follow specific criteria: The president wants a detailed plan for changing immigration laws and would like to see a pathway to citizenship for undocumented foreigners, according to Reuters. While the Senate swiftly passed immigration reform elements, the president is looking for a different approach in the House.
“I’m happy to let the House work its will as long as the bill that ends up on my desk speaks to the central issues that have to be resolved,” the president in an interview with Noticias Telemundo.
His top priorities include enforcing strong repercussions for employers who exploit undocumented workers, heavy border patrol and attainable citizenship for foreigners already in the country.
Reuters noted that the White House is hoping for swift immigration reform laws to be passed in Congress, however, voting has not moved forward in the House of Representatives following support from the Senate over the summer.
According to The Hill, the president is blaming House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner for the slowdown regarding immigration reform. Unlike the Senate’s immigration reform bill, which passed three months ago, the House has not kept up with the issue. The president cites Boehner as the main reason immigration reform has yet to be debated in the House.
In 2012, the president announced his administration would work to stop deporting undocumented foreigners if they entered the country as children. In order to qualify, the immigrants would have to enroll in college or join the military and not break any laws. However, in his interview with Telemundo, Obama noted that he would not be able to halt deporting undocumented immigrants until reform laws passed.