President Obama on Tuesday outlined his vision for reforming the nation’s immigration policy, calling for a clear path to citizenship for illegal residents who pay their taxes, learn English and abide by the law.
In a speech at a high school here, Obama urged his audience to keep the pressure on lawmakers to end the years-long deadlock on the issue and finally fix what he called a "broken" immigration system.
"This time, action must follow," Obama told a cheering crowd at the Del Sol High School. "We've been debating this a very long time."
If lawmakers decline to act in a "timely fashion," the president said, he'll send up his own proposal and use the power of the bully pulpit to insist that they vote on it right away.
For now, though, Obama is working behind the scenes with members of Congress as they shape a proposal. His aides emphasized the common ground between the president's vision for immigration policy and the leading plans under discussion. A bipartisan group in the Senate unveiled its sketch of a proposal on Monday. A group in the House also appears to be moving toward a compromise.