President Barack Obama has conceded that a comprehensive immigration reform bill is unlikely to be signed into law by August, as he had originally hoped. Instead, he now hopes a bill will be finalized by this fall.
The president made the concession in a series of recent interviews with Spanish language television stations, according to Fox News Latino.
Key to the president's revised timeline for a bill, as noted in the Fox story:
Some Republicans view support for immigration reform as central to the party's national viability given the growing political power of Hispanics. But many House GOP lawmakers representing conservative — and largely white — districts see little incentive to back legislation.
The president said the lack of consensus among House Republicans will stretch the immigration debate past August, his original deadline for a long-elusive overhaul of the nation's fractured laws.
The Senate recently passed a bill that includes a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally as well as provisions for tougher border enforcement. But Republican House of Representative leaders have said they will write their own bill rather than take up the Senate's, which they say is too soft on border enforcement and which also allows undocumented immigrants to gain eventual citizenship, something they oppose.
The president has said a bill must include a path to citizenship to earn his signature.