'Obama encouraged by the progress made on immigration reform'

'Obama encouraged by the progress made on immigration reform' Washington: US President Barack Obama is encouraged by the progress made in the US Congress on comprehensive immigration reform and hoped that a bill in this regard would soon land up on his table for signature, the White House has said.

"As the (US) President has made clear, he is encouraged by and hopeful about the process underway in the Senate, the bipartisan process led by the so-called Gang of Eight (a group of eight Senators), towards achieving a comprehensive immigration reform bill that could pass the Senate -- and hopefully pass the House, and land on his desk for his signature," the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

"He (Obama) prefers that option to any other, and he is very encouraged by the progress that's been made so far. He thought his conversations with Senate Democrats involved in this process last week were very productive, and he felt the same about his conversations with Senate Republicans yesterday," Carney said referring to the telephonic conversations the US President had with top three Republican lawmakers, a day earlier.

Responding to questions, Carney said there is not much disagreement among various parties when it comes to the need to pursue enhanced border security as part of comprehensive immigration reform.

"That's part of why it's called comprehensive. So we look forward, to continuing to work with Congress, work with the Senate as they pursue bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform legislation," he said.

Carney said that the prospects of success in this regard can be easily reflected from the comments of Republican Senator Mario Rubio.

"But we encourage the Senate to keep working because this is a significant priority. It's a priority that has in the past enjoyed broad bipartisan support, and that we believe is, once again, enjoying that kind of support," the White House Press Secretary said.

He said the legislation that then-Senator Obama supported back in 2006 was co-authored by Senator (John) McCain, which also got the support of President George W. Bush.

"And that I think represents and reflects what should be the bipartisan consensus behind this very important policy goal," he said.

Carney said that comprehensive immigration reform provides a clear path to citizenship that includes getting in the back of the line and paying taxes and the like, a view supported by both the Democratic and Republican parties.

PTI