January 30, 2013 10:21:22 AM
LAS VEGAS -- Declaring "now is the time" to fix the nation's broken immigration system, President Barack Obama on Tuesday outlined broad proposals for putting millions of illegal immigrants on a clear path to citizenship while cracking down on businesses that employ people illegally and tightening security at the borders. He hailed a bipartisan Senate group on a similar track but left unresolved key details that could derail the complex and emotional effort.
Potential Senate roadblocks center on how to structure the avenue to citizenship and on whether legislation would cover same-sex couples -- and that's all before a Senate measure could be debated, approved and sent to the Republican-controlled House where opposition is sure to be stronger.
Obama, who carried Nevada in the November election with heavy Hispanic support, praised the Senate push, saying Congress is showing "a genuine desire to get this done soon." But mindful of previous immigrations efforts that have failed, he warned that the debate would be difficult and vowed to send his own legislation to Capitol Hill if lawmakers don't act quickly.
"The question now is simple," Obama said during a campaign-style event in Las Vegas, one week after being sworn in for a second term in the White House. "Do we have the resolve as a people, as a country, as a government to finally put this issue behind us? I believe that we do."
Shortly after Obama finished speaking, cracks emerged between the White House and the group of eight senators, which put out their proposals one day ahead of the president. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, faulted Obama for not making a citizenship pathway contingent on tighter border security.
1. DJ pleads guilty to 2015 shooting at Heidi Ho COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
2. Columbus resident arrested for possession of child pornography COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
3. Ex-Columbus HS teacher found guilty of soliciting student for sex COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
4. Paying dividends: West Lowndes students earn big returns in Stock Market Game COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
5. The Running Man: Columbus cardiologist fled Uganda death squads as a teen COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY