A project of the Center for Community Change

Obama Can’t Avoid Immigration Issue

For you nay-sayers out there who don’t believe immigration is (or should be) a top-tier issue, I have a little bit of reading for you. Not only will this issue be on the forefront of Obama’s agenda, but it intersects with almost every other issue that is at the top of the American public’s list right now. 

obama

In a great article at Politico, Gebe Martinez discusses why Obama cannot, and will not, avoid the immigration issue when he takes office next year.

But in the presidential transition offices, immigration is cited as a top-tier issue that Obama will have to tackle early in his administration. It has also been assigned its own study group, one of seven working groups created by the transition team to examine high priorities.

Given that it intersects with the economy, health care, education and other key concerns, immigration is too complex a topic to ignore. As economic and health care initiatives are rushed out of the gate in January, proposed immigration reforms will likely be close behind.


And Obama and congressional Democrats can no longer avoid the issue that raises fears of hate speech and false arrests of citizens and legal immigrants at work sites while angering border control hard-liners. Immigration woes stand as a symbol of a broken government, and the onus is on Democrats to govern.

Backers of a broad bill that would combine border enforcement with expansion of visa programs will not forget Obama’s campaign pledge to produce an immigration bill during his first year in office.

The heat is on.

“We are not forgetting about our promise with regard to the immigrant community,” Melody Barnes, Obama’s top domestic policy adviser, pledged during a forum last week that drew 2,000 community organizers to Washington. It was sponsored by the Center for Community Change and the Gamaliel Foundation, for which Obama was once an organizer.

I just need to interrupt here and say, again, how amazing this event was. People, real people like you and me, are helping to steer the course of our Nation. If that doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will…

“We will start making down payments on that agenda,” Barnes added.

Read the full Politico article here.

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