Obama Takes On Immigration Reform, Yet Again

President Barack Obama aboard plane after his trip to the Americas in April. Photo: White House

President Barack Obama aboard plane after his trip to the Americas in April. Photo: White House

By Dolores M. Bernal, NEWS JUNKIE POST

The promises and pledges that the now President Barack Obama made during the campaign trail last year are still up on his website. Obama’s “Blueprint For America,” is still available for download; the PDF file is a guide to all the issues that he would take on as the new president, including the issue of immigration reform, which included a remark he made when he was still at the Senate —

“The time to fix our broken immigration system is now…We need stron¬ger enforcement on the border and at the workplace…But for reform to work, we also must respond to what pulls people to America…Where we can reunite families, we should. Where we can bring in more foreign-born workers with the skills our economy needs, we should.”

But since Obama was inaugurated as president six months ago, immigration advocates have not heard very much from him about what his administration will do to fulfill his campaign pledge of reforming U.S. immigration policy — that is until today. The president will meet with Republican and Democratic legislators to discuss next steps towards resolving the issue of illegal immigration, border security, and pathways to legalization.

This is what Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said about it at his briefing on Wednesday:

[The] President has started some conversations on this issue. The President had the Congressional Hispanic Caucus at the White House earlier this year, and tomorrow both sides of the aisle and both sides of the issue will be represented.

I think in many ways, how this moves forward — I think the President wants to talk with members of Congress and share different opinions and viewpoints as to what the best path forward is, understanding that the President strongly believes that the only way to deal with this is through a comprehensive reform plan. So I think the President hopes that tomorrow we continue that conversation, and he’ll get more information from Congress about what they see as the path forward, as well.

Immigration rights advocates were glad to hear about the meeting.

“Having the President firmly committed to comprehensive immigration reform puts pressure on Congress to act and move us forward on this issue,” said Ali Noorani from the National Immigration Forum in a statement. “The President wants reform, the American people want reform, now it’s time for Congress to catch up with the voters and pass a bill.”

There are about 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the country; many of them have been in the US for decades, have formed families, and have made the US their home, according to immigration advocates. But certain propositions for immigration reform that have been offered such as, legalizing undocumented immigrants, has drawn lots of opposition. This resistance created an environment for two previous bills in Congress, including the McCain-Kennedy Immigration Reform bill, to fail.

FAIR, one of the organizations that lobbied to defeat the McCain-Kennedy Immigration Reform Bill, issued this statement shortly after the deciding vote in May 2006:

[The] bill would have put illegal aliens on a path to U.S. citizenship and flooded the country with hundreds of thousands of new “guest workers” each year who would also have been allowed to remain in the country permanently.

Fierce public opposition, and heroic senators of both parties who were willing to stand up to special interest pressure, blocked the bill from being voted on by the full Senate. With the threat of a filibuster looming, supporters of amnesty recognized that they did not have the votes necessary to invoke cloture, or limit debate, and bring the bill to a vote, and gave up on the bill.

But despite the fierce opposition in the past, pro-immigration reform advocates feel that they have a chance this time around, even with the current economic downturn. They believe that Obama’s “wish-list” of things he wants accomplish this year may fail if the immigration issue is not addressed as soon as possible.

“Until Congress deals with immigration – makes taxpayers out of all immigrants, makes all employers follow the rules, and creates a functioning legal immigration system – everything else on the President’s domestic agenda is vulnerable to being dragged down,” Noorani has said.

“Congress needs to act very quickly….So, in these economic times we actually think that immigration reform makes sense as part of economic recovery. We know that Congress has a full platter, but we think that Congress can walk and chew gum at the same time. Immigration reform is consistent with America’s need for an economic recovery package; it’s consistent with the need to know who’s in our country, to have secure borders; and its consistent with who we are as a nation, as a nation of immigrants,” said Angela Kelly from the Center For American Progress.



4 Responses to Obama Takes On Immigration Reform, Yet Again

  1. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1RexJ123
    June 25, 2009 at 7:23 am

    Why is the system broken? Because not everyone can come to the US when they want to? Because not every newly-minted citizen can bring in his or her parents and brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and cousins and all of their spouses and children immediately? Because people who have been here for years and have US-born children cannot use those facts as immunity from deportation? Because greedy businesses cannot fill their jobs each year with new immigrants who are willing to accept less pay and complain less about it than American workers?

    The system is working EXACTLY as it is intended – to LIMIT the flow of immigrants. Throw open the border, and the US instantly becomes the largest and most overcrowded country in Latin America.

    Write AND call your federal representatives and tell them “no path to citizenship for illegal immigrants – now or ever!”

    • Dolores M. Bernal
      Vote -1 Vote +1Dolores M Bernal
      June 25, 2009 at 12:20 pm

      Thanks for your comment.

  2. Vote -1 Vote +1Brittancus
    June 25, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Not identifying E-Verify as the perfect tool to extract illegal immigrants from the workplace, doesn’t wash with the American worker anymore? The once great US Chamber of Commerce, compliant with the ACLU, and other anti-sovereignty factions, have pushed our soft politicians to null E-Verify. Sen. Harry Reid(D-NV), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have lost a great deal of public loyalty, because between them, they manufactured excuses to undermine any new law that enforced our weak immigration laws? Chief of Homeland Security is Napolitano who joined the other pathetic Senators, to stealthily direct ICE not to implement large immigration raids anymore. This has also been noticed by the public audience in the months since inheriting the office from Chertoff. By no means are these the legislators who are stating they are supporting E-Verify, or any other immigration law, but in actual fact voting against it.

    Their attitude shows up distinctly when they keep voting E-Verify being delayed for Federal contractors who of all people should be using it. It displays their complete apathetic when politicians allow 300.000 illegal workers, making use of Stimulus money in the construction industry. The 1986 Immigration Act has never been enforced, it has always been fully jeopardized and now the politicians want to replace it, by enacting another AMNESTY. Amendments to the 1986 Simpson/Mazzoli bill is all that’s required to add strength, to our border security and internal enforcement.

    Even any new health care for the American people is compromised by the illegal alien pestilence, because a great portion of the uninsured in our nation are these people heading in large numbers to emergency hospitals. In the decades since Europe saw the ingress of illegal immigrants into their countries, they have seen medical care sink in the quality of service, including rationing. Here in America health care has also been disparaged by added forced mandated laws, that illegal people must be attended to, for even the common cold–which becomes yet another financial impediment to the legal population. It’s just sheer madness on the part of the open border globalists, to keep feeding the country with millions of cheap labor. The burden for these services has never been financially appropriated from the businesses that employ foreign labor, but–ALWAYS–from the US taxpayer.

    We have been brain-washed by the media and government that there are only 11 million illegal people who have violated our laws, whoever this is far from the truth. We can not afford for another AMNESTY to succeed, and must fight back tooth and nail? It’s enactment would terrify the most conservative of financial analysts, of even larger obligation on every taxpayer. Of all the immigration tools at our disposal, we must not let our government exempt E-Verify from our ordinance. It should mandated in every human resources office that–ALL ERRORS– can be reconciled, after being hired at the Social Security agencies.

    President Obama has adamantly promised illegal aliens who knew the consequences of violating our border, a path to citizenship. Sorry! But the costs of this travesty cannot be even imagined. This is absolutely “Taxation without Representation” for like many laws that quietly fall upon the American taxpayer it is ethically wrong. Just addressing the OVERPOPULATION concept should be enough for–THE PEOPLE–to bombard your Senators and Congressman. Facts, statistics at NUMBERSUSA.

  3. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1A REAL AMERICAN
    June 25, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Look at all the promises that were made for the last amnesty. As soon as the illegals got legalized, all the other promises of enforcement went out the window. There was no border security, no workplace enforcement, etc. Why should we believe that any promises they make now will stick? I, for one, don’t believe it. All the Dems want is new voters. And who is gonna support all the illegals when they go on welfare? True Americans will again get stuck with the tabl. Americans have real problems that should be the main concern. Not illegal law breakers who have no respect for our laws. We should enforce our current immigration laws, as written. Please let your Senators and Congress know Americans do not support another failed amnesty