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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

PRESIDENT OBAMA COMMENTS ON HIS IMMIGRATION PLANS

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Thanks to America's Voice for the update:





President Obama Renews Commitment to Move on
Comprehensive Immigration Reform this Year



President
Understands Voters' Desire for Common-Sense Action
>>



Washington,
DC - In an interview
with radio show host El Piolín
this week, President Obama renewed his
campaign pledge to move forward on comprehensive immigration reform legislation
this year, including a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who go
through background checks, pay taxes, and get at the back of the citizenship
line.  Following on the heels of comments by White House Chief of Staff
Rahm Emanuel and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, President Obama's remarks
make it clear that his Administration plans to follow through on the
President's campaign trail promise to take up immigration reform during his
first year in office.  



On Tuesday, President Obama told
Eddie "Piolín" Sotelo
, "We're going to make sure that we begin
the process of dealing with the immigration system that's broken.  We're
going to start by really trying to work on how to improve the current system so
that people who want to be naturalized, who want to become citizens, like you
did, that they are able to do it; that it's cheaper, that it's faster, that
they have an easier time in terms of sponsoring family members. And then we've
got to have comprehensive immigration reform.  Now, you know, we need to
get started working on it now.  It's going to take some time to move that
forward, but I'm very committed to making it happen.  And we're going to
be convening leadership on this issue so that we can start getting that
legislation drawn up over the next several months."



In addition to the President, prominent voices from the Obama Administration
and other key allies have offered support for tackling immigration reform this
year.  In
a recent interview with Hispanic journalists
, White House Chief of Staff
Rahm Emanuel noted the debate over the immigration-related components of the
State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and stated that "the arrow is
pointing in a different direction in relation to immigration politics in this
country."  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) highlighted
his intention
to pursue comprehensive immigration reform in 2009, stating
"I hope that we can get it done in September, and I feel confident that we can
get this done."  And labor leader John Wilhelm, President Hospitality
Industry, UNITE HERE! said
the "American people have embraced the proposition that has always been true
about our country: that we will succeed as a nation if we put our divisions
aside and work together.  As we work to rebuild this country, it is
important that all
workers and all employers are on an even playing field."



"We applaud President Obama for recognizing that common-sense immigration
reform is urgently needed," said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America's
Voice. "He clearly understands the urgency of dealing with an issue that has
become a symbol of how politicians in Washington duck tough problems rather
than solve them.  He also gets that a smart approach to reform is
consistent with the drive to right the economy.  That is why we expect the
President's approach to comprehensive immigration reform will be pro-worker,
pro-taxpayer, pro-rule of law, and pro-family.



"We believe that the 2009 version of comprehensive reform should prioritize the
following key elements: 1) mount an aggressive crack down on bad actor
employers who engage in wage theft, misclassification of independent
contractors, and other forms of exploitation, practices which conspire to
undermine the working conditions of all
lower-wage workers; 2) devise and implement a workable employee verification
system that significantly reduces illegal hiring, combined with aggressive
enforcement against those who end run the system; 3) institute a program that
ensures immigrants in the U.S. without authorization will come forward, pass
background checks, study English, pay taxes and get to the back of the
citizenship line; and 4) reduce the family reunification backlogs to address
the legitimate equity concerns of those waiting in line outside the country.



"This combination will help end illegal immigration, level the playing field
for law-abiding workers and employers, reduce worker exploitation and abuse,
lift wages for all lower-wage workers, generate billions in tax revenues from
both employers and workers who have been operating off the books, and unite
families in a timely fashion.  Other components will and should be
considered, but the priority should be to deal with presence of 12 million
undocumented workers already here, restore integrity to low wage labor markets,
treat all workers fairly, increase tax compliance, and enforce labor and
immigration laws in a way that supports these objectives rather than undermines
them."  >>




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Comments

  1. George Chell's Avatar
    Commitment is one thing, but action is another.
  2. Another voice's Avatar
    I agree with George its not over until the fat lady sings and she ain't singing yet....
  3. George Chell's Avatar
    She aint singing yet? She is fast asleep and not even on her feet!
  4. gandunath's Avatar
    She just got a liposuction done, there will be no fat lady singing ...ever
  5. d's Avatar
    I beleive when it happens ... Its just another platitude from a politicians mouth ... I hope the real immigration reform is not as bad as mortgage proposal
  6. JoeF's Avatar
    "She just got a liposuction done"

    Not true. She is not living in Hollywood ;-)
  7. sobers's Avatar
    and how aboutt he employment based immigration backlogs. there are mexicans in that line too...atleast do it for the raza.
  8. George Chell's Avatar
    "I hope the real immigration reform is not as bad as mortgage proposal."

    I do not understand why we need to bail out towns such as Mesa and Phoenix, Arizona while they have people like Sheriff Arapaio in their payroll driving people out of their towns causing demand for houses to fall! If you willingly commit economic suicide, you should be willing to live with the consequences, not asking Uncle Sam and the taxpayers to bail you out!
  9. George Chell's Avatar
    "and how aboutt he employment based immigration backlogs. there are mexicans in that line too...atleast do it for the raza."

    They need to fix investor and medical visas first coming due on March 6. If they dont fix the investor visa, it will be another decade of housing crisis. If they dont fix the medical visa, there will be severe consequences in the underserved areas!
  10. Jack's Avatar
    Talk is cheap--I'm skeptical Obama would push CIR in the midst of a recession.


    'the arrow is pointing in a different direction in relation to immigration politics in this country.'

    Why would that be? All else being equal, I'd be skeptical that a new version of the last CIR bill would be wildly popular this time around when it couldn't poll worth a darn last time. Of course, since when does the consent of the governed stop them from trying to ram it through anyway? But all else is not equal. Compared to last time, the economy is now a headwind. I'm assuming CIR will, as usual, have a big guest worker component. How is that going to fly in this high unemployment economy?





  11. George Chell's Avatar
    "But all else is not equal. Compared to last time, the economy is now a headwind. I'm assuming CIR will, as usual, have a big guest worker component. How is that going to fly in this high unemployment economy?"

    They should offer the guest worker jobs to Americans who are unemployed at the existing wages, ie., no wage increase and no price increase on consumers in this economy. If that does not work out, he needs to ask the Anerican consumer whether they want higher prices, higher inflation, higher interest rates and hence more downward spiral to the economy. It should be laid out in stark terms. If that is not acceptable to the American public, guest worker program is the only solution or imports from South America. Talk is cheap as you say. Talk is particularly cheap when it comes to Americans. I lived in DC (would be returning there in the summer). I have seen people work for antis tell me that they would be willing to pay higher prices for tomatos picked by Americans. Well do I see them shopping at Harris Teeter in Arlington, VA paying higher prices for tomatos picked by Americans. No. I see them at Trader Joe buying cheaper imported products, salmon from Argentina or Chile over Alaskan salmon or at the cheap neighborhood store (not farmer's market which is expensive) where tomato is only $1.39 a pound (versus $3.99 a pound at Harris Teeter) and which most likely sells products picked by Mexican guest workers or perhaps even by illegals (although I have no confirmation). Of course these antis from CIS and FAIR who shop at the neighborhood store will lecture others the next day that they are willing to pay high prices. They try to avoid me after I asked them why they dont shop at Harris Teeter for products picked by US citizens. We all know what happens to corporations that only employ US citizens (and occassionally Permanent Residents)..they are called the US auto and airline industries..many of them are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy because Americans never put their money where their mouth is and pay higher prices for airline tickets to fund a decent living for the pilots and other workers all of whom are US citizens..all baloney!
  12. Jack's Avatar
    Why CIR fans might be optimistic:

    "so that we can start getting that legislation drawn up over the next several months."

    At least he speaks in months, not years. Although months can turn to years...

    Why CIR fans might be getting a little too excited over this:

    The forum. It's not like he said this to a broad audience, just to Piolin. It's not like he incorporated this CIR talk into his big speeches and press conferences on the economy where everybody is paying attention. Thus, perhaps this was more ethnic pandering than a high priority, concrete plan. I'll pay more attention if he delivers a special immigration homily to the whole country like Bush did.

  13. Rajeev's Avatar
    Where does Employment based backlog stands ?
  14. Peter's Avatar
    Why wasting your time with a comprehensive immigration reform? Once the Amero replaces the US dollar as the common currency for Canada, Mexico and the United States (depending on how soon the American economy completely collapses, perhaps by the end of this summer), Mexicans and Canadians won't have the necessity of adjusting their immigration status (their national ID cards will be good enough to access any employment in the US). A CIR will only apply to foreigners who don't belong to the North American Union - an optimist estimate put the number of these undocumented immigrants about 5 million. Therefore, any CIR bill will pass easily in Congress.
    Watch this video about the Amero, the future currency of the North American Union:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hiPrsc9g98
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