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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

Advocate at White House Immigration Meeting: Obama didn't listen to us

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On Friday, President Obama met with 17 immigration reform advocates at the White House to discuss the fact that he has recently been the object of public derision and shame over his indefensible deportation record. The meeting was described as "sometimes tense but mostly cordial," with the President talking down to the participants. From one unnamed attendee: "It had the feel of him schooling us, but it didn't have the feel of him listening to us."

The attendee further explained that the meeting was more about Obama challenging advocates by demanding a shift of political strategy back to blaming the Republicans than about what steps the President can actually take to do something to stop his deportation machine from needlessly destroying millions of families.

Anyone surprised?

Here is the full list of the attendees:

Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security
John Podesta, Counselor to the President
Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President
Cecilia Munoz, Director of Domestic Policy Council
Katie Beirne Fallon, Director of Legislative Affairs
Deepak Bhargava, Center for Community Change
Angie Kelley, Center for American Progress
Marielena Hincapie, National Immigration Law Center
Eliseo Medina, Fast for Families
Frank Sharry, America’s Voice
Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO
Ali Noorani, National Immigration Forum
Arturo Rodriguez, United Farm Workers
Mee Moua, Asian American Justice Center
Gustavo Torres, Casa de Maryland
Gabriel Salguero, NALEC
Angelica Salas, CHIRLA
Mary Kay Henry, SEIU
Karen Narasaki, CAMBIO
Lorella Praeli, United We Dream
Janet Murguía, National Council of La Raza
Eddie Carmona, PICO

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Updated 03-17-2014 at 08:52 AM by MKolken

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Comments

  1. Jack2's Avatar
    When it comes to immigration policy, why is it that the only people who have access to the president are anti-enforcement extremists? Seriously, who is the least radical attendee out of that list of 17? Is a single one of them not publicly out on the "Not One More!" fringe? How about one invitation for someone who does not completely reject the concept of rule of law? That's just a joke--if one more invitation went out, it would surely have gone to NDLON or something like that.

    These groups and lobbyists may get to meet the president, but I suspect that the anonymous attendee is right that he does not particularly like or respect them. I'm guessing he thinks they are ungrateful and completely unreasonable. Being thin-skinned, their name-calling was probably especially unappreciated. Maybe it is finally dawning on the president that whatever he does to mollify these people, they will never be satisfied.

    Regardless of what the meetings with CHC and the "immigration advocates" really meant, by running around and crowing about it, with the anti-enforcement media jumping on it (did you catch the breathless Rachel Maddow?), the impression was created that Obama is at the very least seriously considering another executive amnesty (whether he really is or not). That bolsters Republican arguments that there is no point in passing CIR since it would not be worth the paper it's written on. Thus, even if he flips back to "I've done everything I can do", it will sound less credible due to yet another perceived change of position. It really makes him subject to ridicule from both sides.
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