20120227-165516.jpg photo by Time Magazine

President Barack Obama told a Hispanic audience that he has “another five years coming up” in his presidency and will use the time to push for an overhaul of the U.S. immigration system.

20120227-164843.jpgPresident Barack Obama walks up the steps of Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Md., Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012. Mr. Obama is heading to Florida to visit the University of Miami and attend several fund-raisers. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

“My presidency is not over. I’ve got another five years coming up. We’re going to get this done,” the president said in an interview Wednesday with Univision Radio. The interview came ahead of the president’s trip to Florida Thursday to deliver remarks on energy policy and the economy and to raise money for his re-election campaign.

The Hispanic community has criticized Mr. Obama for doing little to carry out his promise to overhauling the immigration system. They have also taken issue with the Obama administration’s increase in deportations.


Mr. Obama said Republicans in Congress shoulder most of the blame for the lack of progress in changing the country’s immigration laws.

“Unfortunately, the Republican side, which used to at least give lip service to immigration reform, now they’ve gone completely to a different place, and have shown themselves unwilling to talk at all about any sensible solutions to this issue, and we’re going to have to just keep up the pressure until they act,” he said.

He also criticized Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

“So far, have we haven’t seen any of the Republican candidates even support immigration reform,” the president said. He continued, “In fact, their leading candidate said he would veto even the Dream Act, much less comprehensive immigration reform.”

The Dream Act would grant permanent-resident status to undocumented immigrant students who completed some college or military service. Mr. Romney has called the act a “handout.”

Latinos, who generally lean Democratic, will play a crucial role in the election in states such as Florida and Virginia. Mr. Obama said he doesn’t think the choice for Latinos will be difficult.

READ MORE: Article by the WSJ Blog

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