Immigration reform has been put on the campaign agenda by President Barack Obama, who is looking to win over the Hispanic vote in next year’s presidential election.
On a visit to Texas he said certain rights should be afforded to hard working illegal migrants and backed a path to legal status for many of the 11 million of them living in the US.
“So immigration is not just the right thing to do, it’s smart for our economy. And it’s for this reason that businesses all across America are demanding that Washington finally meet its responsibilities to solve the immigration problem,” said President Obama.
While advocating reform of a system which leaves many immigrants as prey to an underworld of low wages, the president also promised conservative voters that he will tighten border security.
But with the Democrats having lost control of Congress, Obama is not expected to push through a broad overhaul before the November 2012 poll.