- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Emerging from a meeting Tuesday with key negotiators of a Senate immigration bill, President Obama gave the legislation his stamp of approval.

“This bill is clearly a compromise, and no one will get everything they wanted, including me,” Mr. Obama said after meeting at the White House with Sens. John McCain, Arizona Republican, and Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat. “But it is largely consistent with the principles that I have repeatedly laid out for comprehensive reform.”

Their bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced the legislation Tuesday, with a hearing scheduled for Friday in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The proposal would allow illegal immigrants to become citizens after a 13-year wait, and would require tougher border security, among other features.

“This bill would continue to strengthen security at our borders and hold employers more accountable if they knowingly hire undocumented workers,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. “It would provide a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million individuals who are already in this country illegally. And it would modernize our legal immigration system so that we’re able to reunite families and attract the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers who will help create good-paying jobs and grow our economy.”

Mr. Obama called the provisions “common-sense steps that the majority of Americans support.”

“I urge the Senate to quickly move this bill forward and, as I told Sens. Schumer and McCain, I stand willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that comprehensive immigration reform becomes a reality as soon as possible,” he said.