Frustrated with President Obama’s broken promise to overhaul the immigration system within his first year in office, thousands of grassroots activists rallied at the National Mall in Washington March 21 to express their displeasure with the lack of progress concerning immigration reform.
In the face of heavy criticism from supporters of new legislation, Obama reiterated his campaign promises last week, stating that he will “do everything in [his] power” to put an immigration bill in front of Congress by the end of 2010.
The president also supported a reform outline authored by Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), which will force undocumented workers to admit they broke the law, pay back taxes and perform community service to become legal United States residents, Fox News reports. Illegal immigrants would also need to pass a background check and an English exam before being cleared to stay in the country.
However, when asked about the administration’s current priorities, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs did not mention immigration reform and indicated that nothing would get accomplished without bipartisan support, according to ABC News.
“It’s got to be more than the president wants to get something done,” he said.