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Obama Hints He May Be Open to Immigration Deal With G.O.P.

Jan 31, 2014

WASHINGTON — President Obama signaled in an interview broadcast Friday that he might accept an immigration deal that does not include a special pathway to citizenship for those in the country illegally, possibly meeting Republicans in the middle on an issue that has divided them for years.

Mr. Obama and other Democrats have long insisted that legislation overhauling the immigration system include a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants who pay fines and back taxes and meet other conditions. Activists and many Democrats have called that nonnegotiable.

Speaker John A. Boehner and other House Republicans on Thursday released a statement of principles on immigration that would not include the citizenship pathway but would allow such immigrants legal status.

In the interview on CNN that was taped on Thursday and aired Friday morning, Mr. Obama seemed to hint at finessing the difference as long as such immigrants could still apply under the regular citizenship process once they were legal. Republicans drafting their principles did not decide that question.

“If the speaker proposes something that says right away: Folks aren’t being deported, families aren’t being separated, we’re able to attract top young students to provide the skills or start businesses here and then there’s a regular process of citizenship, I’m not sure how wide the divide ends up being,” Mr. Obama said... - To read the full article, click here for The New York Times website.

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