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Obama expects debate on immigration reform bill next month

Posted at 5:13 PM, Mar 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-25 17:20:23-04

By Alexander Mooney, CNN White House Producer

(CNN) — Seeking to ignite congressional movement on immigration reform, President Obama said Monday he expects the Senate to take significant action on the issue next month.

“I expect a bill to be put forward. I expect the debate to begin next month. I want to sign that bill into law as soon as possible,” Obama said at a naturalization ceremony at the White House.

“We are making progress, but we’ve got to finish the job,” Obama said.

“Everyone pretty much knows what’s broken. Everybody knows how to fix it,” he also said. “We’ve all proposed solutions and we’ve got a lot of white papers and studies, we’ve just got, at this point, to work up the political courage to do what’s required to be done.”

The remarks followed a swearing-in ceremony for 28 service members–13 of whom are active duty–in the East Room of the White House. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was also on hand to administer the oath.

“Immigration makes us stronger,” Obama also said at the 25-minute event, attended by about 200 friends and family members of those being sworn in.

“It keeps us vibrant, it keeps us hungry, it keeps us prosperous. It is part of what makes this such a dynamic country. If we want to keep attracting the best and the brightest that the world has to offer then we need to do a better job of welcoming them,” he added.