Perhaps the most notable absence at Tuesday’s meeting with President Obama was immigration reform champion Rep. Luis Gutierrez.
Tag: President Obama and immigration reform
The Obama administration will continue to push for immigration reform until it’s done, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said Thursday, according to local media.
Immigration reform was the very last issue Pres. Obama mentioned in remarks that took on a wide range of pressing problems including job creation, health care reform and corporate and government responsibility.
President Barack Obama has now made official something that had looked more and more likely ever since he took office: that, because he has too much to deal with, immigration reform won’t happen this year. For pro-immigration and Hispanic advocates, this is a clear backtracking on the president’s campaign promise and, while some try to keep a hopeful outlook, others are starting to use the “B” word: betrayal.
“This is a reversal of his campaign promise to pass immigration reform in 2009,” wrote Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Wisconsin nonprofit Voces de la Frontera in the Huffington Post. “Patience for 2010 is hard to come by when the new administration persists with an enforcement-only strategy that Obama criticized during the campaign trail.
“Both represent a betrayal to Latino voters who were a key constituency in delivering the presidency and a majority of Democrats to the U.S. Congress.
Obama never promised to pass an immigration bill in 2009; he always talked about dealing with the issue in 2009. (Anxious voters probably did not stop to weigh the nuance in his carefully chosen words.) But in addition to the matter of Congress passing (or not) a reform bill, advocates are starting to conclude that the candidate who ran on “Hope” and “Change” is not that different from his predecessor in the White House, whose approach to immigration was about strict enforcement and constant talk of the war on terror.
Responding to comments by Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano, Joshua Hoyt, executive director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, told The New York Times, “She’s increasing enforcement of laws that President Obama and she have both said are broken, and the result is going to be a lot of human misery.”