The Common Good

Obama meets with faith leaders on immigration

Date: March 8, 2013

Projecting urgency, President Barack Obama said Friday he wants the Senate to pass a comprehensive immigration bill in the next three months, though he is willing to be patient if that timeline slips slightly.

Obama spoke during a meeting with faith leaders, an increasingly powerful part of the coalition seeking to overhaul the nation's patchwork immigration laws. The private meeting occurred as the White House tries to show it is focused on more than just fiscal issues following Washington's inability to avert billions in budget cuts and a looming deadline for keeping the government running.

According to people who attended the meeting, the president was enthusiastic about the work underway in the Senate, where a group of eight senators, four Democrats and four Republicans, are crafting legislation. The White House has drafted its own immigration bill, but Obama emphasized to the faith leaders that he would only send it to Capitol Hill if the Senate effort breaks down.