WASHINGTON, May 6, 2011 (AFP) – President Barack Obama will deliver a speech next week on immigration reform in El Paso, Texas, across the Mexican border from violence-wracked Ciudad Juarez, his office said Friday.
The White House announced the speech scheduled for Tuesday on its Twitter account, and invited the public “to share thoughts now, during, after.”
Obama has recently revived his goal of achieving comprehensive immigration reform, opening a path to legalization for the estimated 11 million foreign nationals living in the country illegally, most of them Hispanics.
Obama failed to make progress on immigration reform when both chambers of Congress were controlled by Democrats.
The prospects of success now, at a time when he is embarking on his campaign for reelection in 2012, have been complicated with a Republican majority in the House of Representatives that favors tougher border security.
But in the past three weeks Obama has held meetings at the White House with political leaders, members of Congress, and Hispanic celebrities to push for debate on immigration reform.
Immigration is one of the most important issues to Hispanic voters, whose support for Obama proved key in the 2008 elections.
Hispanics turned out in record numbers to vote that year and two-thirds of them cast their ballots for Obama.