This week, in an interview with the nation’s largest Spanish-language newspaper chain, Barack Obama promised to begin working on immigration reform in the first year in the White House.
The new president – whether it’s Obama or McCain – will need to work with Congress on this tough issue. A few days ago, deep in an Associated Press interview with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, there was a worrying sign for advocates of immigration reform.
At the bottom of an Oct. 17 story about likely post-electoral Congressional action, came these lines about next year’s session:
Pelosi also said Congress would have to tackle the politically sticky job of overhauling immigration laws in the new Congress, after a bipartisan measure collapsed last year.
The estimated 12 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally “are part of the U.S. economy. We cannot send them all home, and we cannot send them all to jail, so we have to address it,” Pelosi said.
Any solution would have to be bipartisan, she said, so it may require sacrificing some of Democrats’ past priorities, such as giving illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.
“Maybe there never is a path to citizenship if you came here illegally,” Pelosi said. “I would hope that there could be, but maybe there isn’t.”
That last comment has sent pro-immigration bloggers into a rage.