Sunday, September 27, 2020

Obama heads to Miami to pressure GOP on immigration in exclusive Town Hall

Obama town hall

In what has become a week of tough stances and staunch rhetoric, President Obama is following up his Monday proposal for stricter rules for financial brokers on Wall Street and his Tuesday veto of the Keystone XL Pipeline with an exclusive town hall meeting in Miami, sponsored by Telemundo, to enlist his strong Latino base there to increase pressure on Republican lawmakers. The timing is critical, as yesterday’s proposed legislation from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell offered a sort of compromise on immigration to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by Friday, but still did not appear to appease the President and his immigration stand.

“There is the power of the bully pulpit. That’s partially what he’s doing in Miami,” said Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. “It’s also clear that the Department of Justice and the Obama administration are taking a pretty assertive stance in using all the legal tools at their disposal to defend his policy, which is good not just for immigrants but I’m sure the administration sees it as part of the President’s legacy.”

After the President’s executive actions experienced legal and legislative setbacks in the past week, his renewed, hard-nosed approach to pushing comprehensive reform is highlighted in this town hall, much to the chagrin GOP lawmakers. Obama has vowed to focus on issues where there exists common ground between the parties – like trade and reforming the criminal justice system – but on immigration, he does not appear willing to budge, wielding the supreme power of the veto.

“At this point, the President’s strategy is to be as aggressive as possible on the legal side and really go out and make the case publicly of why his actions are good for the economy and good for our safety,” said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum.

United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President Javier Palomarez, along with a select group of Latino leaders, will accompany the President to Miami as he makes his pitch for ramping up pressure from the grassroots level. Public opinion, however, will likely have little say on whether DHS receives its funding by Friday, but will directly impact the course of immigration policies in the immediate future.

Fox News Latino; New York Times