President Obama is seeking legislation to make legal status possible for illegal immigrants, according to a New York Times report.
Deputy assistant to the president said Obama is planning a "policy reform that controls immigration and makes it an orderly system."
"I know this is an emotional issue; I know it's a controversial issue," Obama said in a townhall meeting last month in Costa Mesa, Calif. "I know that the people get real riled up politically about this."
White House officials said the legislation would allow illegal immigrants to recognize that they violated the law by imposing fines and penalties according to their offense. Future illegal immigration would be prevented with border enforcement and tightening regulations on employers who hire illegally.
Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, a group that favors reduced immigration said the legislation makes little sense.
"It just doesn't seem rational that any political leader would say, let's give millions of foreign workers permanent access to U.S. jobs when we have millions of Americans looking for jobs," he said.
Currently there are about 12 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S.
Mr. Obama is meeting with leaders in May to discuss possible legislation as early as this fall.
Sources: NY Times, USAToday