NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – President Obama will push for a meaningful overhaul of immigration policy in his second term in office, according to senior administration officials and lawmakers.
The New York Times reported that the effort would include a path to citizenship to the millions of illegal immigrants currently in the country.
Democrats will propose the sweeping reforms as one comprehensive package, as opposed to several smaller bills, the Times reported.
Speaking at a news conference on Sunday, Sen. Charles Schumer talked about provisions under consideration to be included in the final measure.
“People are tired of two things: they’re tired of illegal immigrants constantly crossing the border with no recourse, and they’re also tired that we don’t treat people who are here as productive American citizens,” Schumer told reporters including WCBS 880’s Monica Miller.
Hinting at possible provisions, Schumer said the reforms will be wide-ranging.
“It’s going to be very generous on legal immigration but very tough on illegal immigration,” said Schumer. “The good news is we have bipartisan support. There’s been a group of Democrats and Republicans meeting. We’ve had four or five meetings. Each of us on both sides of the aisle have been pleasantly surprised at how much desire there is to come to the middle.”
According to the Times, administration officials believe the first few months of 2013 offer the best chance for the measure to pass.
President Obama could lay out his proposal in the coming weeks, perhaps in his State of the Union address, the Times reported.
The plan will likely not include amnesty as an option. And it is also expected to impose a national verification system to check the legal status of all newly hired workers, according to the Times.
Senate Democrats could introduce the bipartisan measure as early as March, with a vote coming by the end of the summer, the Times reported.
A similar bipartisan attempt to hammer out sweeping immigration reform collapsed in Obama’s first term.
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