News Americas, SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador, Weds. Mar. 23, 2011: President Obama yesterday insisted in El Salvador that he is still very much in favor of comprehensive immigration reform for undocumented immigrants.
In a country which has about 25 percent of its population living undocumented in the United States, Obama again voiced his support but little else as he once again insisted there must be a path way to legalization.
“We also have to make sure that those who are in the United States illegally at this point, but in some cases have been there for a long time, in some cases have children who were born in the United States and are United States citizens, that they have a pathway to get right by the law,” said the President in response to a reporter’s question at the press conference in El Salvador following his meeting with the country’s head of state, President Funes.
Obama blamed a lack of Republican support for a failure to pass the measure in his first two years in office, despite the fact that he held a majority in the House and Senate.
But he insisted, he still has “hope … that they begin to recognize over the next year that we can’t solve this problem without taking a broad, comprehensive approach.”
“It is the right thing to do. This is the time to do it. And I will continue to push hard to make it happen. It won’t be easy. The politics of this are difficult. But I am confident that ultimately we are going to get it done,” he added.
Obama meanwhile promised $200 million to fight drug trafficking and gang violence in Central America. He said the program would tackle the poverty and social factors that drive young people towards crime. El Salvador is plagued by violence, much of it linked to drug trafficking gangs.
El Salvador was the final leg on his tour of Latin America that has also included stops in Brazil and Chile.