There's more bipartisan support in Congress for comprehensive immigration reform than gun control legislation, President Obama said tonight during an interview with Univision, but qualified that even under his proposal, illegal immigrants shouldn't be harboring expectations that they'll be granted citizenship "manana."
"Even under our proposal, this is not a situation where overnight, suddenly people all find themselves as citizens," Mr. Obama told the Spanish-language television network. "They're going to have to go to the back of the line. We're going to have to clear out the existing line, backlogs we have in terms of illegal immigrants, because they did it the right way. We shouldn't punish them for breaking the law.
"...What we don't want to do is to create some vague prospect in the future that somehow comprehensive immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship will happen manana," he continued, chuckling softly at the somewhat awkward injection of the Spanish word for "tomorrow." "But we have to put that in place at the outset, and make sure people are clear that this pathway is real and not just a fantasy for the future."
Asked whether he was in a standoff with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the son of Cuban immigrants who has said he will not support a bill that does not put border control ahead of a path to citizenship, Mr. Obama said no, but pointed out that the number of people crossing the border illegally has dropped "about 80 percent since 2000."