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Promoting Immigration Reform, Obama Addresses Hispanic Prayer Breakfast Promoting Immigration Reform, Obama Addresses Hispanic Prayer Breakfas...

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White House / WHITE HOUSE

Promoting Immigration Reform, Obama Addresses Hispanic Prayer Breakfast

The president continues his campaign to put the issue front and center.

President Obama, speaking in El Paso, Texas, on Wednesday, argued for comprehensive immigration reform--a point he echoed on Thursday in an address at the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast.(Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

photo of Matthew Cooper
May 12, 2011

Continuing his high-profile campaign for immigration reform, President Obama addressed the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, telling the audience: "What we can do together is make comprehensive immigration reform the law of the land."  

"Comprehensive reform is not only an economic imperative or a security imperative, it’s also a moral imperative," Obama said. "It’s a moral imperative when kids are being denied the chance to go to college or serve their military because of the actions of their parents." The president was obliquely referring to the Dream Act, which failed to pass Congress.

Seeking to rally religious groups that have been focused on immigration, the president cited the National Association of Evangelicals, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops -- which has launched a "Justice for Immigrants" campaign -- and the Interfaith Immigration Coalition.

 

But Obama is in a difficult position on immigration reform, which he couldn't pass when Democrats controlled the House and Senate. The GOP-controlled House is unlikely to pass an immigration bill that includes what the president and others have long advocated: increased border enforcement, a guest worker program, and a pathway to legal citizenship for those foreign nationals who are here illegally. 

On Tuesday, the president made a major speech on immigration in El Paso. 

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