Time for immigration reform: Obama

Editors' Picks

  • Sacked Moyes thanks Ferguson for Man Utd opportunity

    Sacked Moyes thanks Ferguson for Man Utd opportunity

    Sacked Moyes thanks Ferguson for Man Utd opportunity

    Sacked Manchester United manager David Moyes thanked his predecessor Alex Ferguson on Wednesday for having given him the opportunity to lead the Premier League club. In a statement issued through the League Manager's Association (LMA), the Scot spoke of his pride at being chosen last July and acknowledged fans had a right to feel frustrated by results since then. "I remain proud to have led the team to the quarter-finals of this year's Champions League and I remain grateful to Sir Alex …

  • Scholes returns to help Man United interim manager Giggs

    Scholes returns to help Man United interim manager Giggs

    Scholes returns to help Man United interim manager Giggs

    Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes returned to the club's training ground on Wednesday to help caretaker manager Ryan Giggs prepare for this weekend's Premier League match at home to Norwich City. Giggs, with whom Scholes shared many title triumphs, was put in charge of the first team for the final four games of the season following the sacking of David Moyes on Tuesday. As well as Scholes, Giggs was also joined by Nicky Butt and Phil Neville, who was assistant coach under …

  • Rumour: Guillem Balagué claims Lionel Messi on Manchester United’s radar
  • Moyes axed by Man Utd after season of failure

    Moyes axed by Man Utd after season of failure

    Moyes axed by Man Utd after season of failure

    By Mitch Phillips LONDON (Reuters) - Manchester United's succession planning for life after Alex Ferguson was left in tatters on Tuesday when manager David Moyes was sacked after 10 troubled months of failure and frustration at a club used to seamless success. Moyes, appointed with a six-year contract on the direction of retiring fellow-Scot Ferguson last July after 11 years at Everton, did not even get to complete his first season as the club's American owners, the Glazer family, ran out of …

  • United must move fast with vital window looming

    United must move fast with vital window looming

    United must move fast with vital window looming

    By Ed Osmond LONDON (Reuters) - Manchester United must move quickly to appoint a new manager and give him maximum time to operate in what will be a critical transfer window for the club. A season of abject failure under David Moyes brought a swift end to the former Everton manager's reign at Old Trafford and United will have to act equally decisively to install the right man to try to revive their fortunes. Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal is the favourite and he has the necessary experience …

  • Man United act to halt slide as power shifts back to Liverpool

    Man United act to halt slide as power shifts back to Liverpool

    Man United act to halt slide as power shifts back to Liverpool

    By Keith Weir LONDON (Reuters) - The balance of power in English soccer has shifted from one famous U.S.-owned club to another, with Liverpool on course to win the league for the first time in 24 years while rivals Manchester United are in disarray and seeking a new manager. The Glazer family who own United showed their ruthless streak on Tuesday when they sacked manager David Moyes after less than one season in the job. Moyes inherited a Premier League-winning team from Alex Ferguson last …

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)

Most Popular Stories