May 11 - U.S. President Obama pushes immigration reform and U.S. and Colombian officials sign agreement to make travel between the two countries easier. Julie Noce reports.
Speaking to crowds in a border town between Texas and Mexico, U.S. President Barack Obama is pushing immigration reform. Obama promised to tighten the porous border, and make illegal guest workers pay fines. But he also stressed that: (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "... stopping illegal immigration also depends on reforming our outdated system of legal immigration. We should make it easier for the best and the brightest to not only stay here but also to start businesses and create jobs here." In a major disappointment to Hispanic Americans, Obama's immigration reform law, The Dream Act, failed to pass Congress last December. In Bogota-- Colombian and U.S. officials have signed an agreement opening the airspace between the two countries. The Open Skies agreement will expand the number of cargo and passenger flights between the U.S. and Colombia. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MARIA ANGELA HOLGUIN, COLOMBIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, SAYING: "This is another step in the way we have restarted our relationship. This is a prelude to achieving the Free Trade Agreement. This was an important step to obtain that important agreement, for the day when we have it approved." U.S. officials say the agreement will benefit businesses and travelers from both countries. Julie Noce, Reuters