Obama pushes key immigration reforms in Vegas - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Obama pushes key immigration reforms in Vegas

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President Obama used Del Sol High School as the backdrop to layout his plans for immigration reform. President Obama used Del Sol High School as the backdrop to layout his plans for immigration reform.

President Barack Obama used Las Vegas as the backdrop to push Congress along to meaningful legislation changes to, what he calls, an out of date immigration system.

In his speech Tuesday at Del Sol High School, Obama outlined the principals of his plan for sweeping immigration reform.

He called for continued strengthening of border security; a crackdown of businesses that hire undocumented workers; a guaranteed path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country; and an update to the legal immigration system.

Throughout the speech, Obama cited success stories that stemmed from immigrants who founded large businesses. He specifically pointed at companies like Google and Intel and technologies like Instagram, which were all founded by immigrants, he said.

With that thinking, he reasoned, it is crucial to have legal immigration updated in order to give those who learn in the country the opportunity to work here.

In addition, he exhibited the contributions of those illegal immigrants who are already in the country. He said that many of those people are ready to earn their way to the American dream and are willing to do their part, as far as contributing to taxes and following the rules.

His speech Tuesday comes after a bipartisan group of Senators agreed on tenants of an immigration plan that echoes most of what Obama promised on the campaign trail.

The president said the agreement is encouraging, but action must happening now on the issue.

The President's immigration plan

The White House released the principles outlined by the president on immigration reform:

Continuing to Strengthen Border Security: President Obama has doubled the number of Border Patrol agents since 2004 and today border security is stronger than it has ever been. But there is more work to do. The President's proposal gives law enforcement the tools they need to make our communities safer from crime. And by enhancing our infrastructure and technology, the President's proposal continues to strengthen our ability to remove criminals and apprehend and prosecute national security threats.

Cracking Down on Employers Hiring Undocumented Workers: Our businesses should only employ people legally authorized to work in the United States. Businesses that knowingly employ undocumented workers are exploiting the system to gain an advantage over businesses that play by the rules. The President's proposal is designed to stop these unfair hiring practices and hold these companies accountable. At the same time, this proposal gives employers who want to play by the rules a reliable way to verify that their employees are here legally.

Earned Citizenship: It is just not practical to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants living within our borders. The President's proposal provides undocumented immigrants a legal way to earn citizenship that will encourage them to come out of the shadows so they can pay their taxes and play by the same rules as everyone else. Immigrants living here illegally must be held responsible for their actions by passing national security and criminal background checks, paying taxes and a penalty, going to the back of the line, and learning English before they can earn their citizenship. There will be no uncertainty about their ability to become U.S. citizens if they meet these eligibility criteria. The proposal will also stop punishing innocent young people brought to the country through no fault of their own by their parents and give them a chance to earn their citizenship more quickly if they serve in the military or pursue higher education.

Streamlining Legal Immigration: Our immigration system should reward anyone who is willing to work hard and play by the rules. For the sake of our economy and our security, legal immigration should be simple and efficient. The President's proposal attracts the best minds to America by providing visas to foreign entrepreneurs looking to start businesses here and helping the most promising foreign graduate students in science and math stay in this country after graduation, rather than take their skills to other countries. The President's proposal will also reunify families in a timely and humane manner.

Stay tuned to FOX5 for more on this ongoing story.

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