Friday, May 24, 2024

Obama Holds Three High-Profile Meetings to Discuss Immigration, Hispanic Issues

On Thursday, President Obama met with immigration activists to discuss the possibilities of passing comprehensive immigration legislation this year.  President Obama has been dedicating effort to solving this pressing issue despite being faced with what is undoubtedly a full political plate at the moment.

The lunch meeting came in advance of a much anticipated reunion on the same afternoon with Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who are seeking to forge a bill to tackle the country’s dysfunctional immigration system this year.  Later in the evening, Obama will have dinner with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to continue the conversation on issues that are imperative to the Latino community.

Asked about the chances of passing comprehensive immigration legislation in the near future, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said it all depends on the willingness of both parties to work together.  “The only way we get this through the White House and the House is with bipartisan support,” Gibbs said.

“But what’s been missing,” he said, “is a clear and public commitment from the president to use his political capital to advance reform this year as promised.”

In an inauspicious sign of partisan obstinacy to come, Congressman Steve King, Republican of Iowa, sent a message to the White House reminding the administration that conservatives will doggedly fight any bill that grants “amnesty”.

“Americans have rejected amnesty in 2006 and 2007,” King said,” and they will reject it again if the Obama Administration tries to force it upon them. It is wrong to reward immigration law breakers.”

According to La Opinión, last summer Schumer said general pillars of immigration reform would include: “control of operations at the border, one year after the legislation has been promulgated; implementation of an identity verification biometric system; registration of all undocumented individuals in order to initiate the legalization process, otherwise all undocumented individuals will have to leave the country; provide incentives for family reunification within the context of legal immigration; promote the development of foreign talent within the context of legal immigration and the creation of a system that regulates the flow of future immigrants in an efficient manner.”

Following Obama’s meeting on immigration he released the following statement: “Today I met with Senators Schumer and Graham and was pleased to learn of their progress in forging a proposal to fix our broken immigration system.  I look forward to reviewing their promising framework, and every American should applaud their efforts to reach across party lines and find commonsense answers to one of our most vexing problems.  I also heard from a diverse group of grassroots leaders from around the country about the growing coalition that is working to build momentum for this critical issue.  I am optimistic that their efforts will contribute to a favorable climate for moving forward.  I told both the Senators and the community leaders that my commitment to comprehensive immigration reform is unwavering, and that I will continue to be their partner in this important effort.”

La Opinión

USA Today