Nightly News | January 29, 2013
>>> president obama flew to nevada to make a point today, a politically crucial place to throw his arms around a new path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants in this country. our white house correspondent, peter alexander , has our report from las vegas .
>> reporter: first trip of president obama 's second term had the unmistakable energy of a campaign event.
>> now's the time.
>> reporter: mr. obama visiting this predominantly hispanic las vegas high school to build support for immigration reform .
>> now is the time to find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see america as the land of opportunity.
>> reporter: the president's plan calls for bolstering border security you cracking down on employers hiring undocumented workers and perhaps most controversially, allowing the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the u.s. to earn citizenship by paying taxes and passing a background check, among other requirements.
>> this is not just a debate about policy. it's about people.
>> reporter: mr. obama described a largely similar bipartisan plan in the senate as encouraging, but republicans are already warning the president that there are limits to their willingness to compromise.
>> if this endeavor becomes a bidding war to see who can come up with the sizest, quickest and cheapest pathway to green card possible, this thing is not going to go well, folks.
>> reporter: still, after winning more than 70% of the latino votes last november, the president's senior advisers say the white house is more than comfortable publicly pressuring republicans.
>> and if congress is unable to move forward in a timely fashion, i will send up a bill based on my proposal and insist that they vote on it right away.
>> reporter: among those moved by the promise of reform, luis and maria berahas who admit they came to the u.s. from mexico city 14 years ago. visiting from their home in california, their 22-year-old daughter, salema can't imagine life outside the u.s.
>> i have spent more than half my life here. i would not have the first idea of how anything works back in my country.
>> reporter: a sentiment central to the president's push for change.
>> a lot of folks forget that most of us used to be them.
>> reporter: brian, the president's proposals aren't new what is new is the political reality i after republican uns got crushed among latinos in the 2012 election, many are looking to improve their standing among what is the nation's fastest growing demographic.
>> peter alexander traveling with the president in las vegas tonight. peter, thanks.