President tries to refocus congressional attention on immigration

Amid the political turmoil surrounding the problems with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama attempted to refocus congressional and public attention on immigration reform.

Health care issues no excuse
At a press conference on Thursday, Nov. 14, where the president mainly spoke of the ongoing efforts by his administration to fix the issues associated with the rollout of the new health care law, he also took time to speak to the immigration reform legislation that is stalled in the House of Representatives.

“There is no reason for us not to do immigration reform. When you’ve got a law that makes sense, you shouldn’t look for an excuse not to do it. I am going to keep on pushing to make sure it gets done… If people are looking for an excuse not to do the right thing on immigration reform, you can always find an excuse: We’ve run out of time. This is hard. The list goes on and on,” he said.

The president has come under increasing pressure for glitches in the website, the main portal to the new health insurance exchanges. And Republicans have been hammering him over that topic while putting off immigration reform, which is a much more sensitive topic with their party.

Others line up behind reform
House Republicans’ resistance to pass immigration reform legislation has come in the face of mounting pressure from across the political spectrum. Even Grover Norquist, who heads up the conservative organization Americans for Tax Reform, chimed in on the side of fixing immigration.

“Immigration reform is important to American economic growth. It is about creating new businesses and jobs and raising our standard of living,” Norquist said in a statement. “It is the most important legislation that the House and Senate could pass this year.”

Norquist joins a growing coalition of conservative leaders who are calling for the House to take up reform as soon as possible.