House Republican leaders holding up immigration reform: Obama

Reuters
A woman holds a cluster of U.S. flags during a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalization ceremony in Oakland
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A woman holds a cluster of U.S. flags during a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalization …

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Thursday called on the Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, which he said was being held back by Republican leaders in the House of Representatives.

"There is bipartisan support for comprehensive immigration reform," Obama said at a news conference. "It would strengthen our economy, it would help with our security and it would provide relief to families, many of whom have lived here for years and have children and family members who are U.S. citizens. The Congress should act.

"Right now what's holding us back is House Republican leadership not willing to go ahead and let the process move forward."

Obama said there were Republicans in both the House and Senate who know immigration reform "is the right thing to do."

"I also know it's hard politics for Republicans because there are some in their base that are very opposed to this," he said.

(Reporting by Bill Trott; Editing by Eric Beech)

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