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Dan Moffett

President Obama Tells Congress 'Real Reform' Is Needed Now

By February 15, 2013

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Here's what President Obama said about comprehensive immigration reform in his State of the Union address:

"To grow our middle class, our citizens must have access to the education and training that today's jobs require. But we also have to make sure that America remains a place where everyone who's willing to work hard has the chance to get ahead.

"Our economy is stronger when we harness the talents and ingenuity of striving, hopeful immigrants. And right now, leaders from the business, labor, law enforcement, and faith communities all agree that the time has come to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

"Real reform means strong border security, and we can build on the progress my Administration has already made -- putting more boots on the southern border than at any time in our history, and reducing illegal crossings to their lowest levels in 40 years.

"Real reform means establishing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship -- a path that includes passing a background check, paying taxes and a meaningful penalty, learning English, and going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally.

"And real reform means fixing the legal immigration system to cut waiting periods, reduce bureaucracy, and attract the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers that will help create jobs and grow our economy.

"In other words, we know what needs to be done. As we speak, bipartisan groups in both chambers are working diligently to draft a bill, and I applaud their efforts. Now let's get this done. Send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months, and I will sign it right away."

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