Jan. 31 - Speaking to Spanish-language networks, President Barack Obama rejects Republican complaints about proposals to overhaul the immigration system and says a deal could be done this year. Sarah Charlton reports.
President Barack Obama appears on Spanish-language television, promoting his plans to overhaul immigration. Speaking to Telemundo, Obama said a deal in Congress could be achieved quickly. SOUNDBITE: U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SAYING TO TELEMUNDO ANCHOR, JOSE DIAZ-BALART (English): "It's a matter of Republicans and Democrats coming together and finding a meeting of the minds, and making the case. And I'm hopeful that this can get done and I don't think that it should take many many months. I think this is something that we should be able to get done, certainly this year, and I would like to see if we can get it done sooner - in the first half of the year, if possible." In a second interview, Obama rejected criticism of the proposals to put millions on the path to citizenship. SOUNDBITE: U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING (English): We've put border security ahead of pathway to citizenship. We have done more on border security in the last four years than we had done in the previous 20. We've seen a drop in terms of illegal crossings of about 80 percent, since 2000. We have made enormous strides - put resources in - we've actually done almost everything that Republicans asked to be done several years ago as a condition to move forward on comprehensive immigration reform." With a political split emerging in the fight for reform, the president says he's ready to act is Congress delays the plans.