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Obama says he will tackle immigration reform in his second term

By Reuters
Thursday, February 23, 2012 16:08 EDT
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, expressing confidence he will win re-election in November, told a Hispanic audience he would use a second term to seek comprehensive immigration reform.

“My presidency is not over,” Obama said in an interview with Univision Radio when asked about his failure so far to push through an immigration bill. “I’ve got another five years coming up. We’re going to get this done.”

Obama is seeking to shore up support among Hispanic voters, whose strong backing helped him win the White House in 2008. But some in the Latino community are disappointed over the lack of progress toward overhauling the immigration system.

Obama – in an interview broadcast the day before his Thursday trip to Florida, an election battleground state with a large Hispanic population – sought to reassure Latinos he was committed to trying to pass broad immigration reform.

He rejected suggestions that he had broken a campaign promise and put the blame on Republicans in Congress who he said were “unwilling to talk at all about any sensible solutions to this issue.”

“So far, we haven’t seen any of the Republican candidates even support immigration reform,” Obama said, taking aim at his potential opponents in the November 6 election.

The White House hopes that hard-line positions taken by Republican presidential contenders on illegal immigration and border control will help Obama with Hispanic voters in vital swing states like Florida, Nevada and Colorado.

(Reporting By Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Peter Cooney)

(Photo via White House Flickr Photostream)

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