Immigration Reform

(NBCNC) — Today President Obama lays out his plan to overhaul the nation's laws - beef up the border, and keep 11 million illegal immigrants in this country.

This time both sides are motivated. Politically, immigration reform works for both sides. Democrats get to keep a promise. Republicans may get a jump on the next election.

If Congress drags its feet on immigration, the White House has a plan ready.

President Obama will lay it out today in Las Vegas. The White House says it's similar to what four Democrats and Republicans introduced Monday. "We're gonna get push back, but I think enough Americans are saying enough already, let's get this fixed," said Senator Lindsey Graham, (R) South Carolina.

It's plan puts illegal immigrants at the back of the line for citizenship, after they've passed background checks, paid fines and taxes, and learned English.

The key for conservatives to go along will be whether more border security comes first. "No one should expect members of the Senate are just going to rubber-stamp what a group has met and decided," said Senator Jeff Sessions, (R) Alabama.

"We will never put these people on path to citizenship until we have secured our borders," said Senator Chuck Schumer, (D) New York.

Advocates for reform say they'll push the plan. "We are also going to be marching, rallying and taking the streets, " said Hector Figueroa, SEIU.

"We have to support our Haitian brothers and sisters, our Jamaican brothers and sisters. It's not just the Latino community," said Florida Resident, Natalie Toledo.

Republicans make no bones about it - it's political. "The Republican party is losing the support of our Hispanic citizens," said Senator John McCain, (R) Arizona.

70% voted for President Obama last fall. Republicans want a chunk of that vote in 2016.

Copyright 2014 WWLP TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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