Obama hints at amnesty for illegal immigrants

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President Barack Obama stayed away from hot-button words in remarks Thursday on immigration reform, but hinted that his immigration push will include some kind of “amnesty” or “legal path” for illegal immigrants already in the United States.

He also praised U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who was at a White House meeting on the issue and has supported a legal path for undocumented immigrants and a guest worker program.

“What’s also been acknowledged is that the 12 million or so undocumented workers are here — who are not paying taxes in the ways that we’d like them to be paying taxes, who are living in the shadows, that is a group that we have to deal with in a practical, common-sense way,” Obama said after the meeting. “And I think the American people are ready for us to do so. But it’s going to require some heavy lifting, it’s going to require a victory of practicality and common sense and good policy making over short-term politics. That’s what I’m committed to doing as president.”

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