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Barack Obama on Immigration


U.S. President Barack Obama answers reporters' questions during a news conference
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images

An overview of Barack Obama's views on key immigration issues.

Border Security

Obama voted in favor of the September 2006 bill that called for 700 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border. He believes we need strong border security and supports additional personnel and technology on the border and at our ports of entry.

Immigration Reform

Obama supported the 2007 comprehensive bill to keep families together and meet the demand for jobs that employers cannot fill.

Obama acknowledges that current immigration fees are too high and FBI/background checks take too long. He wants to reverse large fee increases for legal immigrants seeking to become citizens and provides grants to states to help promote citizenship.

Undocumented Workers

The blame should not be placed on the workers, rather, employers should be held accountable for verifying the employment status of those they hire. He doesn’t believe the workers should be punished “for just trying to support a family.” His plan calls for a new employment eligibility verification system.

Path to Citizenship

Obama says it is “just not practical” to ship back 12 million undocumented immigrants. Instead, he believes in a “pathway to citizenship” for immigrants in good standing. Obama would have undocumented immigrants pay a fine, learn English, and go “to the back of the line” behind those already in the system legally.

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