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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy


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  1. Sid's Avatar

    I don't want to argue for or against this particular case, but I do have some reservations about the language that you've used - "paid back". I understand that there were several groups that supported Obama's candidacy split along many lines - age, race, income level, company size, etc and all of these groups that favored Obama probably have some expectations of being "paid back" as you put it now that he has won. What's interesting is that some of these expectations may be conflicting - for example, labor unions do not want skilled or unskilled guest worker programs but small businesses often depend on it. The Hispanics want legalization but I think the CHC does not support a guest worker program for unskilled workers (Please correct me if I'm wrong about the last point). It's obvious to me that he will not be able to completely satisfy all of his supporters and will have to make some trade-offs. I would be curious to see how or if he manages to do that. The success of his presidency would depend on whether he can get all parties to make a compromise and take the middle ground.
  2. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    The point is fair, but the fact of the matter is that unless the Latino community demands their issues be addressed, they will be ignored. The tiny, but extremely vocal anti-immigration community ends up getting their way most of the time because of this. That dynamic has to end. Latinos need to make it clear that the party that addresses immigration will get their votes. And the party that promises action on immigration and fails to make a good faith effort to deliver will be treated accordingly.
  3. Another voice's Avatar
    Its politics there is always a favor to be " Paid back", you can not satisfy everyone but you always remember your friends specially if you want to be a 2 term president. It will come down to where he can get more political gain and from whom.
  4. USC's Avatar

    I hesitate to discuss this because of my role in discussions/conversations but there is going to be an attempt to reform immigration sometime next year. Some of us are pushing to make sure that it happens in the first 100 days of the Obama administration. A lot depends on the health of Senator Kennedy. Basically, on immigration reform Obama will defer to Kednnedy. No one has more leverage than him.
  5. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    USC - Good luck. I think it's critical that major immigration legislation move in the first 100 days because the politics are only going to get worse for the next several years. If not comprehensive reform, a major package that includes DREAM, AgJobs, the Menendez Recapture bill, nurses, SKIL and permanent extensions of key programs. Consider it a "down payment" on more comprehensive reform.
  6. USC's Avatar
    "USC - Good luck."

    Thanks. I know you are active as well and I wish you the same. I might be in touch with you sometime early next year to solicit your help and advise. You are a tireless campaigner for the cause of immigration reform. :-)

  7. Jack's Avatar
    At least Greg doesn't beat around the bush in his call for an ethnicity based spoils system. I favor meritocracy, not 'paying back'.

  8. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    Sorry Jack, but I've been making the case regarding the merits of immigration reform on this blog for two years. I've warned that if Congress and the President succumbed to pressure politics from a vocal minority of anti-immigrants, there would be consequences, particularly with an increasingly angry Latino population and an American public that considers the status quo a major failure.

    "Paying back" to me means keeping a promise. President-Elect Obama promised immigration reform and the Democratic Party platform promised it in the first year. Latino voters switched parties based on this promise. In some respects, this is like a contract. President-Elect and the Democratic Party made an offer - vote for us and we'll try to pass immigration reform. The offer was accepted by Latino voters in the form of giving the Democrats 3/4 of their votes. Now they expect that contract to be honored.
  9. Jack's Avatar
    Now here I WAS baiting you! It sounded like you were endorsing rank and file patronage, not just high level appointments.
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