When President Obama urged Congress on Friday to overhaul the nation's immigration laws, he said inaction would lead to - misguided efforts and irresponsibility - by others. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is also pushing for action. He’s vaulted the issue to the top of Congress's spring agenda, saying the Senate could take up immigration legislation before it considers an energy bill.
Arizona Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl have threatened to filibuster any immigration legislation that does not secure borders first. If the Senate acts, supporters of immigration reform in the House say they are confident they could muster the votes to pass a bill this year. According to House aides, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has agreed to hold a House vote on immigration before the congressional elections in November.
The President also criticized a measure passed by the Arizona state legislature and signed by Governor Jan Brewer that allows local police to question people on suspicion of being in the country illegally. Mr. Obama said the measure - threatened to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe.