Path to citizenship includes learning English and ‘going to the back of the line’

Eric Pfeiffer

President Barack Obama used the State of the Union forum on Tuesday night to lay out some specific immigration proposals on the national stage.

“Real reform means establishing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship—a path that includes passing a background check, paying taxes and a meaningful penalty, learning English, and going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally,” Obama said.

English-language skills and “going to the back of the line” have long been priorities of members of Congress who have opposed broad efforts at amnesty for illegal immigrants.

In January, Obama outlined similar proposals, including at this address in Las Vegas, but this is the first time he has used such a large public forum to endorse such a specific course of action.

“Real reform means fixing the legal immigration system to cut waiting periods, reduce bureaucracy and attract the highly skilled entrepreneurs and engineers that will help create jobs and grow our economy,” Obama said.