President Obama will kick off the immigration debate Tuesday by making a speech at the White House reprising his role as chief cheerleader for the issue — though he will continue to keep at arms length from the actual debate on Capitol Hill.
The White House said Mr. Obama will praise the bipartisan deal that is advancing to the Senate floor for its first test vote on Tuesday afternoon and will highlight the coalition of groups backing reform this year.
White House officials released a list of 18 people who will join the president for his speech, including two illegal immigrants who have been given stays of deportation by Mr. Obama's policies; the heads of major unions and the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who struck a deal that put the immigration bill on track; and several law enforcement leaders.
Mr. Obama will again lay out his principles for any bill that crosses his desk, including that it provide a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
The president has already caved to demands from Republicans that the pathway be tied in some ways to triggers — though illegal immigrants will get legal status almost immediately, regardless of whether the borders become more secure.
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