President Obama promised in an interview with Spanish-language television network Univision on Sunday that he would pursue immigration reform in the first year of his second term if he wins reelection, striking a confident tone on an issue that could be a major focus come November.
"I can promise that I will try to do it in the first year of my second term. I want to try this year," he said on Univision's Al punto, according to a transcript released by the network. Obama has promised immigration reform throughout his presidency, and these new statements echo his 2008 campaign promise that he would get reform passed within a year of entering the White House.
Though the interview touched on a range of topics, Obama was clearly in general election mode, touching on political issues whenever possible. Obama framed inaction on immigration reform as the fault of Republican obstructionists.
"The challenge we've got on immigration reform is very simple. I've got a majority of Democrats who are prepared to vote for it, and I've got no Republicans who are prepared to vote for it," he said.
In a Friday interview with another Spanish-language television network, Telemundo, Obama reiterated his attacks on Republicans.
"Somehow Republicans want to have it both ways, they want to vote against these laws and appeal to anti-immigrant sentiment when we have a nominee who said that Arizona laws, which allow those same kids with Latino surnames to potentially be picked up and asked for their papers, and then they come and say: ‘But we really care about getting this issue resolved once and for all.’ That looks like hypocrisy to me," he said, according to a transcript.