With immigration reform successfully passing the Senate, focus now shifts to the House of Representatives to see if a bill can move forward. Pundits have long suspected that safe districts provide a more rigid response from lawmakers who might find political support in opposing the bill. Yet, as the media begins to discuss House concerns over the security aspect of the bill - an issue feared for its poison pill affect if used as a political football by conservatives - the president used this week's address to repeat his claim that immigration reform will serve as a boost to the U.S. economy:
"The Senate's plan would also provide a big boost to our recovery. And on Wednesday, we released a report detailing exactly how big a boost that would be.
The report is based on the findings of independent, nonpartisan economists and experts who concluded that, if the Senate's plan becomes law, our economy will be 5% larger in two decades compared to the status quo. That's $1.4 trillion added to our economy just by fixing our immigration system.
Here in America, we've always been a nation of immigrants. That's what's kept our workforce dynamic, our businesses on the cutting edge, and our economy the strongest in the world. But under the current system, too many smart, hard working immigrants are prevented from contributing to that success.
Immigration reform would make it easier for highly skilled immigrants and those who study at our colleges and universities to start businesses and create jobs right here in America. Foreign companies would be more likely to invest here. The demand for goods and services would go up - creating more jobs for American workers. Every worker and business would be required to pay their fair share in taxes, reducing our deficit by nearly $850 billion over the next two decades. And since a large portion of those taxes go towards retirement programs that millions of Americans depend on, social security would actually get stronger over the long-term - adding two years to the life of the program's trust fund." (transcript)
President Obama's Weekly Address: