U.S. President Barack Obama is calling on lawmakers to support legislation that he believes will fix the nation’s “broken” immigration system.
In his weekly address Saturday, Obama said “nobody will get everything they want” from the immigration bill being debated in the Senate. But he said the bill will strengthen border security, increase penalties against traffickers and create a pathway for earned citizenship.
The bipartisan authors of the bill say the legislation would require those in the country illegally to pay a fine, pay taxes and wait for years for a chance at citizenship. Opponents of the bill say it will amount to a de facto amnesty.
Even if the reform bill passes in the Senate, it will likely face tougher scrutiny in the House of Representatives, where leaders are vowing to bring their own immigration bill to the floor for debate.
Focusing on the country’s student loan program, Republican Congressman Luke Messer of Indiana said in his party’s address Saturday that legislators and the president need to work out a compromise to keep federally subsidized student loan rates low. He accused Obama of “campaign-style” tactics to attack a Republican plan that Messer says somewhat “mirrors the White House’s own proposal.