Obama to Urge Congress to Act on Immigration

Article excerpt

Byline: Stephen Dinan, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

President Obama on Monday promised immigrant-rights advocates he will soon deliver a major speech urging Republicans and Democrats to work together on an immigration bill this year.

In a meeting at the White House with advocates, Mr. Obama said he wants Congress to act as soon as possible, the White House said after the closed-door meeting.

The groups, who have been disappointed with the slow pace of action and with many of the enforcement tactics Mr. Obama has continued from the Bush administration, said they believe the president is committed to their issue, but said he needs to do more.

We raised our concerns about the urgently needed reforms to the harsh and draconian detention and deportation mechanisms that are tearing apart families and communities under his watch, said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, who said they will continue to keep pressure on.

Immigration is one of the thorniest issues facing Mr. Obama and Congress, and the president will face another test soon when his Justice Department decides whether to sue to overturn Arizona's tough new immigration law.

Polls show the law has the backing of a majority of Americans, but advocacy groups argue only the federal government should police immigration status. …