Obama on immigration reform: There will be a pathway to citizenship so people can achieve their dreams

President Obama says immigration reform is hitting the home stretch.

In an interview with Telemundo’s Lori Montenegro, Obama acknowledged a stumbling block between labor and business over wages and guest worker programs, but said that it would not derail introduction of legislation.

“I think we’ve seen enormous progress over the last month and a half,” Obama says. “I think both sides — Democrats and Republicans have been very serious about the negotiations.  I’m actually very optimistic that when they return in early April that we’ll see a bill ready to move through the process.”

The president also stressed once again that a pathway to citizenship will be included in the final leglislation.

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“The most important thing is that we’re seeing a strong commitment to finally solve this problem in a way that strengthens our border security, makes sure that there’s a pathway to citizenship,” he said.  “An earned one, a tough one, but a pathway so that people can live out their dreams and make sure that they have a better life for themselves and their kids.

Obama reiterated that he sees a commitment from both parties to cross the finish line, but addressed concerns that the immigration reform timeline will be dragged on, noting that he has a fail safe.

“I’ve always said that if I see a breakdown in the process, that I’ve got my own legislation,” he said.

“I’m prepared to step in.  But I don’t think that’s gonna be necessary.”

Obama said immigration reform should be complete by the end of the summer.

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