WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday officially unveiled his immigration reform proposals in a highlighted speech in Las Vegas, Nevada, which marked his first public push in the second term over the long-term divisive issue.
NOW IS THE TIME
"Now is the time," said Obama in a speech in Del Sol high school, trying to generate public support and push lawmakers to fix the "broken immigration system."
The president laid out a comprehensive and ambitious package to overhaul the immigration system in a bid to give earned citizenship to young illegal immigrants who were brought to the country as children, as well as awarding green cards to foreign young high-end workforce.
There are estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States, who have been, as the president put in his speech, "woven into the fabric of our lives." Obama's proposals to tackle the illegal immigration issue include preventing more from coming into the country by strengthening border security and providing those already in the country an earned path to citizenship.
Obama vowed to push on immigration reforms during his re- election bid last year and won over two thirds of Latino voters. In his first term, he didn't push hard for major legislative solutions to the country's immigration policies. Yet he did launch a program to stop deporting some young immigrants during a tight campaign last summer, an effort that was believed to further boost his support among Latino voters.
Obama's comprehensive package also includes goals to "staple" green cards to foreign graduate students educated in the United States with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and to create a "startup visa" for job- creating foreign entrepreneurs.