U.S. President Barack Obama appeared confident Wednesday that an immigration reform proposal can be introduced shortly after the start of his second term in late January.
"We need to seize the moment. And my expectation is that we get a bill introduced and we begin the process in Congress very soon after my inauguration," Obama said. "Some conversations, I think, are already beginning to take place among senators and congressmen and my staff about what would this would look like."
Speaking at his first press conference since re-election, Obama said given the importance of the Latino vote in the election, one might expect "some reflection on the part of Republicans about their position on immigration reform."
"I think we're starting to see that already. I think that's a positive sign," said Obama, who captured more than 70 percent of the Latino vote in the November 6 election.
He noted that immigration has "historically" not been a partisan issue, and he expressed hope for a return to such a scenario.
When asked what such immigration reform might entail, Obama highlighted the need for it to contemplate both security issues - which the Republicans saw as a precondition during his first term - and humanitarian issues and to seek a way out for the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.
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