President Barack Obama said Tuesday he would go along if Congress divides immigration reform into separate bills, as long as all the components of comprehensive reform are accomplished. “If they want to chop that thing up into five pieces, as long as all five pieces get done, I don’t care what it looks like, as long as it’s actually delivering on those core values that we talk about,” Obama said Tuesday at a business event.
The president’s offer was made in an apparent attempt to move the stalled issue forward. Last June, the U.S. Senate passed a comprehensive reform bill that included provisions for border security, an adequate labor supply, and a path to permanent status for those illegally in the country. However, the House has refused to take up the matter. Many observers feel that House leaders do not want to wind up in a conference committee with the Senate version. A top House Republican in favor of reform said earlier this month that he feels the window to get anything done is closing.
The Oregon Association of Nurseries continues to support the Senate version, which offers a difficult, 13-year path to citizenship, but a path nonetheless. “The House majority only wants to pass the things they like about immigration reform,” OAN Executive Director Jeff Stone said. “Enforcement alone will not fix our country’s broken immigration system. That’s why we need a comprehensive solution.”