In spite of the bipartisan bickering that has defined Congress lately, President Barack Obama said he was confident they would pass immigration reform and gun control legislation in the coming months.
Obama expressed his beliefs in interview with Spanish-language television networks Univision and Telemundo today. During these interviews, he also indicated that illegal immigrants shouldn’t anticipate getting instant citizenship under his proposal.
“What we don’t want to do is to create some vague prospect in the future that somehow comprehensive immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship will happen mañana. But we have to put that in place at the outset, and make sure people are clear that this pathway is real and not just a fantasy for the future.”
Legal immigrants would have priority over illegal immigrants in obtaining citizenship in Obama’s plan. The president also indicated he felt a bill with a pathway to citizenship could be passed within the next six months.
Gun control legislation may prove a harder nut to crack, but Obama said he had “no doubt” that Congress could pass such legislation. He pointed out that many people who had formerly been opposed to the idea were coming around on the idea of improving background checks and limiting high-capacity ammunition clips.
Today saw both sides of the gun debate represented during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun control. During the meeting, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., spoke out in favor of gun control, while NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre indicated opposition to one of the most popular ideas among both parties — strengthening background checks. “Universal background check…ends up being a universal federal nightmare imposed upon law-abiding people all over this country,” he said.
If the more conservative members of Congress follow the NRA and LaPierre’s lead, it will make the already difficult path towards gun control that much more difficult — no matter what Obama might think.
– Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPolitics Editor
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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