WASHINGTON — With the partial government shutdown in the past, President Obama renewed his call Thursday for an immigration bill.
"It's good for our economy, it's good for our national security," Obama said in remarks at the White House. "It's good for our people, and we should do it this year."
As Obama noted, a bipartisan coalition in the Senate approved an immigration bill earlier this year.
Members of the Republican-run House, meanwhile, object to a proposed pathway to citizens for immigrants who are already in the United States illegally.
Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said House Republicans want to address immigration problems in a step-by-step fashion, and that a big bill would only lead to new problems.
"The speaker agrees that America has a broken immigration system and we need reform that would boost our economy," Buck said. "He's also been clear that the House will not consider any massive, 'Obamacare'-style legislation that no one understands."
Kenneth Palinkas, who heads a union of 12,000 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services adjudications officers and staff, said proposed legislation will undermine border security.
"At USCIS, our institutional mission has been corrupted by politics, and I hope these abuses will be examined and fixed before any amnesty proposal is brought forward in the House," said Palinkas, president of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council.
The National Day Laborer Organizing Network said Obama can set an example by cutting back on his record numbers of deportations.
"President Obama can advance immigration reform by using his existing legal authority to alleviate the suffering of immigrants," said Pablo Alvarado, the organization's executive director.
Among the participants in the immigration debate: The nation's growing number of Hispanic voters.
Obama had to put this immigration push on hold during the 16-day shutdown earlier this month. A week after its end, Obama said immigration is a way that Congress can prove it can get something done.
"Rather than create problems, let's prove to the American people that Washington can actually solve some problems," Obama said during his remarks at the White House.
The president said the Senate plan would help grow the economy, tighten the nation's borders and hold employers accountable for knowingly hiring undocumented workers.
Obama made his remarks to an invited group of business, labor, faith and law enforcement officials who support the Senate version of immigration reform.
"Keep putting the pressure on all of us to get this done," Obama told his guests.