President Barack Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday that “nobody got everything they wanted” in the Gang of Eight’s immigration-reform bill — including himself.
“In recent weeks, we’ve seen a commonsense immigration reform bill introduced in the Senate. This bill is a compromise, which means that nobody got everything they wanted, including me,” Obama said in the most recent installment of “Your Weekly Address,” which mainly covered his politically-timed three-day tour of Mexico and Costa Rica.
Obama did not state his specific criticisms of the Gang of Eight bill in his address, and offered a reluctant endorsement of the legislation, which was introduced in April. If it becomes law, the proposal could legalize up to 32 million illegal immigrants.
“But it’s largely consistent with the principles I’ve laid out from the beginning. It would continue to strengthen security at our borders and hold employers more accountable if they knowingly hire undocumented workers,” Obama said.
Obama, whose recent gun-control push was soundly defeated by a Republican Senate filibuster, appealed to Republicans in his address by stating that undocumented workers are “living in this country illegally.”
“It would provide a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million individuals who are already living in this country illegally,” Obama said.
Obama’s statement about “living in this country illegally” was a far cry from his statement in June 2012 calling children of illegal immigrants “young people who are, for all intents and purposes, Americans.”
Despite Obama’s projection that 11 million people would be legalized, the Gang of Eight’s bill would actually legalize 32 million illegal immigrants and grant 25 million work visas, according to an analysis released Friday by Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions.