CaribWorldNews, WASHINGTON, D.C., Fri. Mar. 19, 2010: With the issue of health care reform still up in the air, President Obama is turning his attention to immigration reform even as thousands are set to descend on the Capitol Hill Sunday.
Obama on Thursday issued statement Congress to act at the earliest possible opportunity on immigration reform while praising a bipartisan immigration reform framework unveiled by Senators Chuck Schumer of New York and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
`I am pleased to see that Senators Schumer and Graham have produced a promising, bipartisan framework which can and should be the basis for moving forward,` said the President yesterday.
Details of the plan have not been revealed but the immigration `blueprint,` outlined in an editorial by both senators and posted on The Washington Post`s Web site claims it would require `biometric Social Security cards to ensure that illegal workers cannot get jobs; fulfilling and strengthening our commitments on border security and interior enforcement; creating a process for admitting temporary workers; and implementing a tough but fair path to legalization for those already here.`
Additionally, it would require all U.S. citizens and legal immigrants who want jobs to obtain a high-tech, fraud-proof Social Security card.
`Each card`s unique biometric identifier would be stored only on the card; no government database would house everyone`s information. The cards would not contain any private information, medical information or tracking devices. The card would be a high-tech version of the Social Security card that citizens already have,` states the senators in the editorial.
Advocates have so far set an April deadline for the bill and will undoubtedly drive home that point on March 21st, when thousands are set to rally for reform on the National Mall.
Obama on Thursday said the blue print so far `thoughtfully addresses the need to shore up our borders, and demands accountability from both workers who are here illegally and employers who game the system.`
`I congratulate Senators Schumer and Graham for their leadership, and pledge to do everything in my power to forge a bipartisan consensus this year on this important issue so we can continue to move forward on comprehensive immigration reform,` he added.
So far Congressman Luis Guiterrez has introduced the House bill.
In 2007, Congress rejected Republican President George W. Bush`s plan to revamp immigration policy. That plan also was a bi-partisan one, presented by late Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy and Republic Senator John McCain.
Obama promised during his 2008 White House campaign to promptly tackle immigration, but critics complain that he has failed to do so a year-and-a-half in to his term.