U.S. President Barack Obama called Tuesday on the
Senate to pass comprehensive immigration reform that would offer a
pathway to citizenship for an estimated 11 million residents in the
The Senate is due to vote later Tuesday to move forward with the bill, with the goal of passing legislation later this summer.
"The system's still broken and, to truly deal with the problem, Congress needs to act, and that moment is now," Obama said from the White House.
Obama called the measure before the Senate the "best chance we've had in years" to address the problems with the immigration system, with smarter enforcement of immigration laws, a pathway to earned citizenship for those already in the United States and improvements to the existing legal system.
"If you genuinely believe we need to fix our broken immigration system, there's no good reason to stand in the way of this bill," he said.
A bipartisan group of eight senators has crafted a bill and shepherded it through the initial phases of legislative consideration in Congress.
The measure must also be passed by the lower House of Representatives before Obama can sign it into law. Speaker of the House John Boehner said Tuesday he thought an immigration measure could be completed there by year's end, despite concerns by many Republicans about the existing Senate bill.
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