WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has developed its own proposals for immigration reform that are more liberal than a separate bipartisan effort in the Senate, including a quicker path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, people with knowledge of the proposals said.
President Barack Obama is expected to provide some details of the White House plans during an appearance today in Las Vegas, where he will call for sweeping changes to the nation’s immigration laws. The speech kicks off a public push by the administration in support of the broadest overhaul of immigration law in nearly three decades.
Obama plans to praise the reform proposals laid out Monday by an eight-member Senate working group, saying they reflect the core tenets of the administration’s immigration blueprint developed in 2011, a senior administration official said.
But the president’s remarks also are likely to emphasize differences that could foreshadow roadblocks to passage in Congress at a time when both parties say there is momentum for a comprehensive deal.
For example, the Senate proposal would let illegal immigrants obtain legal residency quickly. But it would not allow them to seek full citizenship until border security had been improved and a new system was in place for employers to verify the employment status of workers.
Obama will not endorse such a proposal, the administration official said. The president intends to make clear the need for a more straightforward route for undocumented workers and students to obtain citizenship, reflecting fears among advocates that a cumbersome process would create a decades-long wait for some migrants.