President Barack Obama gave a new hope to Immigration reform movement yesterday, when he attended in a White House meeting with more that 100 immigration supporters, and indicating to go ahead with reform soon. However, there is no set deadline but it is expected to hear something in this fall unlike Mr. Obama’s earlier indication for the year to come.
The session was officially hosted by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, who has been sharply criticized by immigrant advocates in recent days for putting too much emphasis on enforcement and too little on reform legislation and making the immigration system more humane.
The meeting was attended by advocacy groups, religious organizations, unions, employers and law enforcement. United Farm Workers Union President Arturo Rodriguez said participants delivered blunt messages to Napolitano that she needed to adjust her public message “Very frankly, one issue was that we want to make sure you’re communicating the importance of immigration as much as you are communicating the importance of enforcement,” Rodriguez said. “We are a nation of laws. We all understand that, but simultaneously we are a nation of immigrants as well that treats people with dignity and respect. We delivered that. I think she got that message loud and clear from everybody.”
Janet Napolitano later issued a written statement emphasizing her commitment to reform.
“Today’s meeting on comprehensive immigration reform was an important opportunity to hear from stakeholders and build on the significant time I’ve spent on the Hill meeting with members of Congress on this critical subject. I look forward to working with President Obama, my colleagues in Congress and representatives from law enforcement, business, labor organizations, the interfaith community, advocacy groups and others as we work on this important issue”.
A spokesman for Obama, Nick Shapiro, said Obama’s message has not wavered.
“The President understands our nation’s immigration system is broken and needs to be fixed, and that’s why he asked Secretary Napolitano to work with stakeholders and Members of Congress to move the legislative process forward on this important issue. The President has consistently said we would begin work on comprehensive immigration reform this year, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Some of the employers who made their presence in the meeting are Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Microsoft, and Oracle, who often press for visas to hire foreign citizens including lower-wage employers such as McDonald’s, Tyson Foods, and Wal-Mart.
We are optimistic about the favorable outcome to such initiatives and will continue updating on Immigration reforms.