Obama praises Senate proposal on immigration; pledges administration will play "active role"

In a paper statement issued Thursday, President Obama once again criticized, albeit indirectly, Arizona's new controversial immigration law.

"The continued failure of the federal government to fix the broken immigration system will leave the door open to a patchwork of actions at the state and local level that are inconsistent and as we have seen recently, often misguided," Mr. Obama wrote.

The President went on to praise a democratic proposal outlined in the Senate as "a very important step in the process" of fixing the national immigration system.

The proposal calls for, among other things, meeting border security benchmarks before anyone in the country illegally can become a legal permanent U.S. resident.

President Obama reiterated in his paper statement, his desire to see stronger border security measures and tougher penalties for employers who hire illegal immigrants as well as requirement for those who are here illegally to "get right with the law," by paying penalties and taxes, learn English, pass criminal background checks and "admit responsibility before they are allowed to get in line and eventually earn citizenship."

"The outline presented today includes many of these elements," the President wrote. "The next critical step is to iron out the details of a bill. We welcome that discussion, and my Administration will play an active role in engaging partners on both sides of the aisle to work toward a bipartisan solution that is based on the fundamental concept of accountability that the American people expect and deserve."