Time for immigration reform: Obama

Editors' Picks

  • My discipline may have cost United says Ferguson

    My discipline may have cost United says Ferguson

    My discipline may have cost United says Ferguson

    Alex Ferguson's insistence on discipline above all else might have cost Manchester United trophies during his 26-year reign, he has said. In his new book "Leading", the most successful manager in British football history said that does not mean he would do anything differently. David Beckham, Roy Keane, Jaap Stam and Ruud van Nistelrooy were among the leading players who left the club after falling foul of Ferguson. …

  • United's 'lack of experience' wrecked De Gea deal - Perez

    United's 'lack of experience' wrecked De Gea deal - Perez

    United's 'lack of experience' wrecked De Gea deal - Perez

    Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has blamed Manchester United's "lack of negotiating experience" for the failure of goalkeeper David De Gea's move to the Spanish capital on Monday. The deal, which included Real's Costa Rica keeper Keylor Navas moving to United, broke down in surreal circumstances when the completed paperwork was not filed with the Spanish league (La Liga) until just after the midnight deadline. Real and United blamed each other and Perez added more fuel to the fire late …

  • Manchester United dismiss Real Madrid’s latest claims on De Gea transfer

    Manchester United dismiss Real Madrid’s latest claims on De Gea transfer

    Manchester United dismiss Real Madrid’s latest claims on De Gea transfer

    Manchester United respond to Florentino Perez's criticism of the club on Spanish radio. …

  • Benzema, Varane and Bale were summer targets for Manchester United, confirms Perez

    Benzema, Varane and Bale were summer targets for Manchester United, confirms Perez

    Benzema, Varane and Bale were summer targets for Manchester United, confirms Perez

    In an interview with Spanish Radio station Cadena Ser Perez revealed how Manchester United had targeted Benzema and Varane along with Bale in the summer transfer window …

  • Sir Alex Ferguson reveals strict discipline may have cost Manchester United trophies

    Sir Alex Ferguson reveals strict discipline may have cost Manchester United trophies

    Sir Alex Ferguson reveals strict discipline may have cost Manchester United trophies

    The former Manchester United manager spoke about disciplining his players in a new book …

  • Bayern boss says rejected 'very high' Mueller offer

    Bayern boss says rejected 'very high' Mueller offer

    Bayern boss says rejected 'very high' Mueller offer

    Bayern Munich rejected a "very high" offer for versatile attacking midfielder Thomas Mueller this summer, president of the German club Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has said. The 25-year-old Mueller, who worked with Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal during his time in charge of Bundesliga champions Bayern, was heavily linked with a move to the Red Devils throughout the summer. United's last offer for the 2014 World Cup Golden Boot winner was thought to be in excess of 70 million pounds …

Washington, Jan 30 (IANS) Seizing an emerging consensus on immigration reform, President Barack Obama asked the US Congress to act fast to offer a "pathway to citizenship" for over 11 million illegal immigrants, including 240,000 from India.

Unveiling his own plan at a campaign style event at a Hispanic majority high school in Las Vegas, Nevada, Obama Tuesday warned that if Congress does not act "in a timely fashion" he will propose a bill "and insist that they vote on it right away."

Declaring "now's the time" to replace a "badly broken" system, Obama said the overhaul must provide a "pathway to citizenship" for the illegal immigrants, 6.8 million or 59 percent of whom are from Mexico. El Salvador was a distant second with 660,000.

India with 240,000 ranked seventh after Guatemala, Honduras, China, Philippines in 2011, according to a March 2012 Department of Homeland Security report.

But Illegal immigrants from India were among the fastest growing with their numbers nearly doubling since 2000. Indian immigrants are also generally better educated with many of them students overstaying their visas as they endlessly wait for green cards for permanent residence status.

Obama acknowledged as much saying "There's another economic reason why we need reform" as apart from those coming illegally, even those trying to come legally "have a hard time doing so, and the effect that has on our economy."

The US was "giving them all the skills they need" to "brilliant students from all over the world" in its top universities, he said. "But then we're going to turn around and tell them to start that business and create those jobs in China or India or Mexico or someplace else?"

"That's not how you grow new industries in America. That's how you give new industries to our competitors. That's why we need comprehensive immigration reform," Obama said.

Obama described a blueprint unveiled Monday by eight senators-four from each party-for overhauling the immigration system as a sign of renewed desire by Democrats and Republicans to tackle the issue. The plan was "very much in line with the principles I've proposed and campaigned on for the last few years," he said specifying three pillars of

immigration reform.

These were better enforcement of immigration laws, providing a path to citizenship for the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the country, and reforming the legal immigration system.

To earn the opportunity for citizenship, Obama said undocumented immigrants must first pass a background check, learn English, pay a penalty, and then get "in the back of the line" behind people trying to come to America legally.

The principles described by Obama on Tuesday were similar to the framework proposed Monday by the eight senators. But some conservatives immediately voiced their opposition to what they called "amnesty" for illegal immgrants.

The mainstream media reaction to the Obama plan was generally positive with influential New York Times editorially calling it "A Better Immigration Plan" that "makes a path to citizenship central, and offers ways to end backlogs and reunite families."

In the Washington Post's view Obama "has offered a useful roadmap . that closely mirrors the bipartisan accord taking shape in the Senate." He was also "right to let Congress take the first crack at an immigration bill."

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)