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Obama bats for new immigration bill

world Updated: Jul 09, 2008 11:20 IST
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Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has charged his rival John McCain of "abandoning" efforts for a legislation to ease complex procedures to be followed by illegal immigrants in obtaining US citizenship.

"Senator McCain used to buck his party on immigration by fighting for comprehensive reform. But when he was running for his party's nomination, he abandoned his courageous stance, and said that he wouldn't even support his own legislation if it came up for a vote," Obama told a Latino group.

McCain and President Bush were strong advocates of the immigration bill. But, during the presidential campaign, the Republican candidate maintained that border security should be improved before pushing for a new bill.

"... For eight long years, we've had a President who made all kinds of promises to Latinos on the campaign trail, but failed to live up to them. We need a President who isn't going to walk away from something as important as comprehensive reform. That's the commitment I'm making to you," Obama told the League of United Latin American citizens.

The senator from Illinois said his priority will be the comprehensive immigration reform and vowed to fix the broken immigration system if he wins the presidential election in November.

"I will make it a top priority in my first year as President. We have to finally bring undocumented immigrants out of the shadows. And they should have to pay a fine, and learn English, and go to the back of the line. That's how we'll put them on a pathway to citizenship," he said.