Tag: Congress and immigration

Immigration NewsImmigration Reform

Once Again, Obama Presses for Immigration Reform… to a Hispanic Audience

Obama once again comes out for immigration reform on Hispanic media. (Photo: The White House)

Obama once again comes out for immigration reform on Hispanic media. (Photo: The White House)

President Barack Obama is again insisting on keeping the pressure on Congress to pass immigration reform… on Spanish-language media.

Obama, in a conference call with Hispanic broadcasters Friday, said he hopes a comprehensive immigration reform bill will take shape by the end of this year or in early 2010.

As has happened in the past, the president has chosen media aimed at the Hispanic population to maintain his presence on this issue, while in mainstream appearances he is busy with other topics, like health care reform or the economy.

According to Spanish-language wire service Agencia EFE, Obama said immigration reform is “something we want to move forward on. (more…)

Immigration NewsImmigration Reform

Editorial Roundup: After White House Immigration Reform Meeting, Media Looks Ahead

By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor

President Barack Obama finally sat down with legislators from both parties last week to talk about immigration reform and the news media saluted the meeting with editorials and op-ed pieces on how to proceed.

The meeting, said Los Angeles newspaper La Opinión, was “the first step toward immigration reform. In itself, the start does not guarantee that new legislation will be feasible this year despite the urgent need, but the fact that it has begun is hopeful.

“The cards are now on the table –the newspaper said–. We hope that they will be well played.”

(more…)

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News Analysis: Obama Launches Immigration Reform Effort, But Lines Are Already Being Drawn

By Suman Raghunathan, FI2W consultant
President Obama at Thursday's meeting with lawmakers on immigration reform - Photo: The White House.

President Obama at Thursday's meeting with lawmakers on immigration reform. (Photo: The White House)

Finally, the much-expected meeting on immigration reform between President Barack Obama and lawmakers from both parties took place Thursday. Participating legislators said the president promised to put his energy into moving forward right away.  The response from some reform advocates was “Game On!”  But the various sides have already started drawing lines in the sand — spelling out what they will and will not accept.

Reps. Anthony Weiner (D.-N.Y.) and Joseph Crowley (D.-N.Y.) reported that President Obama began the meeting by promising to “use whatever political capital he has left” to enact comprehensive immigration reform this year.

See a White House video of the meeting:

Thursday’s meeting and the White House’s creation of a working group on immigration reform –to be headed by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano– were lauded by immigrant rights groups such as America’s Voice, which called Thursday “a turning point” and declared: “Game On”.

The renewed commitment from the Oval Office might allay advocates’ fears that the current economic crisis, as well as Obama’s high-profile efforts to enact health care reform would prevent the President and Congress from dealing with immigration this year.

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Immigration NewsImmigration Reform

The Who, What, When, Where, Why and How of Today's White House Meeting on Immigration Reform

Pro-immigration reform demonstrators in New York on May Day - Photo: Jocelyn Gonzales/Feet in 2 Worlds

Pro-immigration reform demonstrators in New York on May Day. (Photo: Jocelyn Gonzales/Feet in 2 Worlds)

What: President Barack Obama will meet Congressional leaders from both parties to discuss the way forward in fixing the U.S. immigration system. The White House has insisted on tamping down expectations, saying this is just the beginning of the conversation. Pro-immigration advocates, on the contrary, are anxious for Congressional action to start. Anti-immigration activists seem to be waiting to hear what exactly the Democrats’ plan will include — but they reject any kind of legalization proposal.

When & Where: After two postponements attributed to the president’s busy schedule, the meeting will be held today at the White House.

Who: While White House officials had first said the meeting would involve not only lawmakers but also activists and others involved in the immigration debate, today’s conversation will only include members of the Senate and the House who are part of relevant committees.

No official list of attendees has been announced. But Los Angeles newspaper La Opinión, quoting unnamed sources, published this list: Democratic Sens. Robert Menéndez (N.J.), Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and  Patrick Leahy (Vt.); Republican Sens.  John McCain (Ariz.), Mel Martínez (Fla.), John Cornyn (Texas) and Jeff Sessions (Ala.); Democratic Reps. Zoe Lofgren, Xavier Becerra, Howard Berman (all Calif.), Luis Gutiérrez (Ill.), Nydia Velázquez and Anthony Weiner (both N.Y.); Republican Reps. Lamar Smith (Texas), Adam Putnam and Lincoln Díaz-Balart (both Fla.)

One key player from the last Congressional immigratio reform debate will be absent: the ailing Sen. Edward Kennedy (D.-Mass.), who’s now focused solely on health-care reform.

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