Pres. Obama to Announce Immigration Plans – 04-09-2009
Today, April 08, 2009, seems to be quite the active day with regard to immigration news. Not only was the May 2009 Visa Bulletin released on this day, but the New York Times published an excellent article announcing President Obama’s plans to spark the immigration debate within the coming months. This announcement does not come as such as a surprise though. After all, there was plenty of speculation, including some made by me, that the immigration debate would start soon (you can read my thoughts in previous posts: Immigration Highlights – 04-03-2009 and Follow Up to Immigration Highlights – 04-03-2009). Below is a relevant excerpt from today’s New York Times article:
While acknowledging that the recession makes the political battle more difficult, President Obama plans to begin addressing the country’s immigration system this year, including looking for a path for illegal immigrants to become legal, a senior administration official said on Wednesday. . . .
Mr. Obama plans to speak publicly about the issue in May, administration officials said, and over the summer he will convene working groups, including lawmakers from both parties and a range of immigration groups, to begin discussing possible legislation for as early as this fall.
Some White House officials said that immigration would not take precedence over the health care and energy proposals that Mr. Obama has identified as priorities. But the timetable is consistent with pledges Mr. Obama made to Hispanic groups in last year’s campaign.
He said then that comprehensive immigration legislation, including a plan to make legal status possible for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, would be a priority in his first year in office. Latino voters turned out strongly for Mr. Obama in the election.
“He intends to start the debate this year,” Ms. Muñoz said.
But with the economy seriously ailing, advocates on different sides of the debate said that immigration could become a polarizing issue for Mr. Obama in a year when he has many other major battles to fight.
Opponents, mainly Republicans, say they will seek to mobilize popular outrage against any effort to legalize unauthorized immigrant workers while so many Americans are out of jobs. . . .
For the full length article, click here.
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