Encouraged by progress on immigration reform: White House

Encouraged by progress on immigration reform: White House Washington: Confident of introducing the immigration bill to the House of Representatives in coming months, the US said that they are encouraged by the progress made on immigration reform by lawmakers but it is not a done deal yet.

"We are encouraged by the continuing signs of progress that we are seeing in the Senate as the Group of Eight and the Senate, more broadly, works on comprehensive immigration reform. We are also encouraged by reports of an agreement, or progress at least, between the Chamber of Commerce and labor on that particular aspect of immigration reform," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters yesterday.

"The President's principles are clear. We are, again, encouraged by the progress. We note comments by Senators over the weekend about just how far that group has come and how close they are to producing an agreement, and we find that good news," Carney said.

However, we're not there yet, and this process is still underway in the Senate. Legislation has to be written, drafted, and we will evaluate the specific aspects of that legislation when it is produced," Carney said.

Over the weekend, some of the eight Senators, who are involved in this negotiations process also called the Gang of Eight, said that they have agreed on the broad features of the immigration reform and that the bill in this regard would be drafted now and introduced in May.

US President Barack Obama has made clear in his blueprint, that there has to be an earned path to citizenship and it has to be real.

"It has to end in citizenship. It also has to require folks getting into the back of the line and it is part of a comprehensive approach to immigration reform that includes strengthening border security, continuing that effort; holding employers accountable; and bringing our immigration system into the 21st century," Carney said.

Early this morning, the Democratic party leader Steve Israel on MSNBC called for House Republicans to end their extremism and inflexibility on immigration reform, and join Democrats and the bipartisan group of senators in solving real problems for Americans.

"In the Senate it sounds like they're still dotting some I's and crossing their T's; in the House, Republicans are going to have to decide, do they want to cross their base, do they want to cross their Tea Party Extremist base? [...] Only House Republicans can stop it now. [?] So far, they have not shown an ability to compromise," he said.

"They are inflexible, they are chaotic, they put politics ahead of solutions. If they continue down that route, then I'm less optimistic. They have to make a fundamental decision, do they want to be problem-solvers, or do they want to continue to be part of the problem on this and other issues?" Israel said.

PTI