WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Barack Obama plans to push ahead this year with an immigration bill, a senior administration official says.
The New York Times said Thursday the president wants comprehensive immigration legislation as early as this fall, including a plan to make legal status possible for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants and making it a priority for his first year in office.
Obama aims to begin addressing the issue in May, seeking to find a way to control immigration and make it an orderly system, while acknowledging a shaky economy likely means a more difficult political battle, Cecilia Munoz, deputy assistant to the president and director of intergovernmental affairs, told the Times.
Obama said earlier he recognized immigration was a potential minefield.
White House officials told the Times that immigration wouldn't take precedence over the healthcare and energy proposals. But, advocates on both sides of the debate said the issue could have a polarizing effect in a year when there are many major battles to fight, the Times reported.
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