Washington, March 26 (IANS) US President Barack Obama is pushing Congress to move fast on immigration reform to fix the problem of over 11 million illegal immigrants, including some 250,000 Indians, that he can sign into law next month.
“We are making progress but we’ve got to finish the job,” he said during a naturalisation ceremony for 28 immigrants from 26 countries, including one from India, at the White House.
“Everyone pretty much knows what’s broken. Everybody knows how to fix it,” Obama said. “We’ve all proposed solutions and we’ve got a lot of white papers and studies.
“We’ve just got at this point to work up the political courage to do what needs to be done,” he said. “I expect a bill to be put forward. I expect the debate to begin next month. I want to sign that bill into law as soon as possible.”
Noting that the United States is a nation of immigrants, Obama said in order for the country to remain vibrant and on the cutting edge, the nation’s immigration system must be fixed.
“Immigration makes us stronger, it keeps us vibrant, it keeps us hungry, it keeps us prosperous,” he said. “It is part of what makes this such a dynamic country. If we want to keep attracting the best and brightest that the world has to offer, then we need to do a better job of welcoming them.”
“After avoiding the problem for years, the time has come to fix it once and for all, the time has come for comprehensive, sensible, immigration reform.”
Meanwhile, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly putting up $20 million of his own fortune to help launch a Silicon Valley non-profit organization to lobby Congress on the issues they care about – starting with immigration, CNN reported citing sources.
Earlier this month, Zuckerberg and more than 100 other tech leaders wrote to Obama urging him to move on immigration reform this year for “bringing talent from all over the globe.”
The letter was organized by a bipartisan political policy network – TechNet – and included CEOs from Yahoo, Oracle, eBay and Microsoft.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])