President Obama visited immigration activists in Washington on Friday, telling them there was still time for the House to pass legislation that would overhaul the nation’s immigration system.
Obama stopped by a tent on the National Mall where some activists have been abstaining from food for the past 18 days. He was accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama.
The Senate passed a comprehensive immigration overhaul bill in the summer. The House has yet to vote on the measure, and Speaker John Boehner has refused to schedule votes on Senate-approved bill. He says he prefers a piecemeal approach.
Earlier this month, Boehner was approached at a diner by two immigration advocates whose parents are in the country illegally.
“I’m trying to find a way to get this thing done,” he told them. “It’s, as you know, not easy. It’s not going to be an easy path forward, but I’ve made it clear since the day after the election that it’s time to get this done.”
Obama is making a renewed push on immigration, telling an audience in San Francisco this week that he believes Boehner “is sincere” on the issue.
The Associated Press has more on that speech:
“During his immigration remarks in San Francisco, he was interrupted by a protester standing immediately behind him. The young man condemned the Obama administration’s record number of deportation of immigrants who are in the country illegally.
“‘Stop deportation, stop deportation!’ the young man yelled.
“Obama argued he is required to follow the law and said that could only change through the democratic process.
“‘But it won’t be as easy as just shouting,’ he said. ‘It requires us lobbying and getting it done.’”