Bucking GOP calls for a piecemeal approach on the issue, the administration will insist on a holistic solution that includes the promise of citizenship in conjunction with punitive measures against undocumented immigrants, according to administration officials:
The president and Democrats will also oppose measures that do not allow immigrants who gain legal status to become American citizens one day, the officials said. [...]
Mr. Obama is expected to lay out his plan in the coming weeks, perhaps in his State of the Union address early next month, administration officials said. The White House will argue that its solution for illegal immigrants is not an amnesty, as many critics insist, because it would include fines, the payment of back taxes and other hurdles for illegal immigrants who would obtain legal status, the officials said.
The president’s plan would also impose nationwide verification of legal status for all newly hired workers; add visas to relieve backlogs and allow highly skilled immigrants to stay; and create some form of guest-worker program to bring in low-wage immigrants in the future.
Since President Obama won his decisive re-election with a staggering 75 percent of the Latino vote, conservatives have been undergoing a collective epiphany on the status of their relationship with the Latino community. Influential Republicans such as Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Colin Powell have called out the contemporary GOP on its borderline xenophobia and asserted that, barring significant changes, it will not be able to attract support from one of America’s fastest-growing demographics.
Still, that hasn’t stopped some Republicans — such as Rep. Steve King (R-IA) — from pursuing extremist policies such as an unconstitutional ban on birthright citizenship.