I am writing this Blog entry from my conference of the American Immigration Lawyers Association in Washington DC. In this past few days Immigration lawyers from across the nation gathered here in DC to share ideas and discuss our Immigration laws and policy. On Thursday not so far from our conference, the President (maybe he planned it), discussed Immigration reform for the first time in months.
President Obama stepped back into the political minefield of immigration policy Thursday, arguing for big changes in what he called a “broken” immigration system. But he warned that no such changes are possible without some Republican support.
From months now, Latino activists have been pushing the president to make good on his promise to overhaul the nation’s immigration system. Thursday, in a speech at American University here in DC, Mr. Obama took up the challenge.
The speech followed meetings earlier in the week with immigration activists and Latino lawmakers.
To those concerned with security along the southern border with Mexico, Mr. Obama said, he’s already put more boots on the ground than ever before. But, he argued, border enforcement by itself will not stop the flow of illegal immigrants.
Immigration is back in the spotlight now thanks to a new Arizona law requiring police to question anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally. Mr. Obama says he understands the frustration that led to that law, but he thinks Arizona went too far. His speech helped to lay the groundwork for an expected legal challenge by the Justice Department.
These are exciting times for all of us at the Immigration Bar, and being here in Washington makes you feel like part of the debate. I promise to keep you updated as we hear from USCIS officials and other government representatives on upcoming changes and other issues.