President Obama Speaks About Housing Reform, Links The Issue To Immigration

President Obama gave prepared remarks about housing reform Tuesday in Phoenix -- and took the opportunity to link the issue to immigration, saying the enactment of the Senate's bipartisan immigration reform would raise home values throughout the country.

Acknowledging immigration and housing aren't issues normally associated with one another, Obama said, "According to one recent study, the average homeowner has already seen the value of their home boosted by thousands of dollars, just because of immigration."

White House data shows immigrants accounted for almost 40 percent of new homeowners between 2000 and 2010. In California, immigrants made up more than 80 percent of the growth in homeowners; in Southern states, immigrants constituted more than 25 percent of new homeowners.

Immigration reform has been one of the central issues on which Obama has focused during his second term. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said last week Obama would feature immigration reform prominently in his August economy speeches like this one.

Obama has accused House Republicans of stalling on immigration reform. In Tuesday's speech, he added, "Considering what this bill can do for homeowners, that’s just one more reason Republicans in the House should stop dragging their feet and get this done."