Here we go again. When Obama’s Democratic Party controlled the House and Senate, Congress failed to pass an immigration bill that would have provided a path to Residency and later Citizenship for some illegal immigrants who entered America as children. The DREAM Act died in the Senate in December due to a Republican filibuster.
With Republicans now controlling the House and holding a stronger minority in the Senate, the chances for any comprehensive immigration reform are considered non-existent.
Obama travels to Texas on Tuesday to make the case that his administration has worked hard to secure the border and the time has come for Congress to deal with the 10.8 million people already in the U.S. illegally.
He will also argue that those who care about this issue need to step up pressure on Congress to act, a point he has made privately in a string of meetings with business executives, evangelical leaders and Hispanic celebrities.
Many activists blame the White House for not making the issue more of a priority, and Tuesday’s speech is an effort, in part, to shift attention to Republicans who are blocking action.
Many Republicans and some Democrats oppose the measures Mr. Obama favors that would create a path to citizenship for some people who entered the country illegally, saying it would reward law-breaking. Opponents also say not enough has been done to secure the border with Mexico. The White House says it has put more “boots on the ground” along the southwest border than ever before and has cracked down on employers who hire undocumented workers.
The administration has also deported a record number of illegal immigrants, a point that has angered Hispanic activists. Federal officials say deportations of illegal immigrants hit a record 392,000 in fiscal year 2010.
Hoping to push through the political stalemate, Mr. Obama has held private meetings to discuss immigration with political figures such as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, business leaders such as John Engler, president of the Business Roundtable; and religious leaders such as Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals.