President Barack Obama says the millions of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally should have the chance to become citizens.
Speaking to Hispanics at the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast, Friday, Obama said he is committed to passing comprehensive immigration reform.
He says the U.S. cannot tolerate people crossing the border illegally or employers who exploit undocumented workers, but said those who have put down roots in the U.S. should be allowed to "clarify" their status.
"For those who wish to become citizens, we should require them to pay a penalty and pay taxes, learn English [and] go to the back of the line behind those who played by the rules," Obama said. "That is the fair, practical and promising way forward."
The President is scheduled to meet with congressional leaders next week to discuss immigration reform.