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Immigration Reform: Now or Never?

By Kelly Thomas - Posted on 30 June 2010

Link from The Hill. As if President Obama does not have enough on his plate already, it appears he is boldly addressing yet another hot-button issue-Immigration Reform-rather than run away from it. President Obama's major speech on Comprehensive Immigration Reform is scheduled for Thursday, July 1st. I find it admirable that he refuses to take the easy way out on the tough issues. Just as he would have been better off politically had he "put off" health care reform, he is focused on results and the overwhelming needs of our nation. He sure doesn't mind multi-tasking and I think he is getting pretty good at it. I know NYC Mayor Bloomberg is supportive of his efforts and I feel that he just needs to get a few high-profile Republicans on board to go full speed ahead. No easy task, but I'm sure he will work hard to make this happen.

As skepticism aboundson Capitol Hill about whether Obama can gain any traction onimmigration in an election year, Burton was asked why the president wastaking it on.

"It’san issue that’s important right now," Burton said. "It’s important atthe border. It’s important for folks who are employing people all overthe country. It’s an important issue ... and the president thinks thatright now, given the focus on it, it’s important that he makes clearexactly where he stands on it.

"There’s been the Arizona law,there’s been meetings about it, there’s been protests about it," hesaid. "He thought this was a good time to talk plainly with theAmerican people about his views on immigration."

Burtonsaid that "specifically, he thinks this debate is about accountability— accountability for securing the border, accountability for employerswho are hiring illegal immigrants and accountability for those who arein this country illegally." 

Obama has made immigration afocal issue this week, meeting at the White House with grassrootsreform activists on Monday and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus onTuesday.


I think the president needs to take a lesson from Bill Clinton and focus like a "laser on the economy."

As long as unemployment as at almost 10% and people are anxious about their economic future, the president is going to be judged on this issue and this issue alone.

Once we are having a real recovery and people have confidence about their jobs and paychecks, then the president can start talking about issues like immigration reform.  By taking on too much, he runs the risk of appearing like he is all over the place with no real cohesive plan on any issue. 

Careful, your starting to sound like Senator Graham who thinks pushing for climate change legislation and immigration reform (legislation HE helped craft BTW) is "foolish." I think Republicans want President Obama to abandon these things because it will be yet another success for Obama (we can't have those accomplishments piling up, you know!) and will make the GOP look bad, especially to the Hispanic voting block, when they bash the plans, put down immigrants in the process (Gov. Brewer of Arizona just said most illegal immigrants are drug mules-even McCain had to disagree with her on that!) and eventually vote against reform, once again reminding voters that Republicans are the party of no and the Democrats are the party of solutions. Comprehensive immigration reform is a mechanism to boost our economy, maybe even reduce the deficit-it is tied to the number one priority you cite. And energy reform is also an economic issue and will help the economy and create jobs.

The study, Clean Energy and Climate Policy for U.S. Growth and Job Creation (pdf), assumes that the bills will be kept at least as strong on emissions targets (17% nationwide reductions by 2020, 83% by 2050) and renewable energy standards (mandate that utilities get at least 20% of electricity from renewable suppliers) and that there is strong continued funding for renewable energy research and development (Obama put 60$ billion into the stimulus bill, but more will be needed).

The study looks at the impact of the economies of each and every state--and finds that in each case, the effect is positive.

There are three main findings, all of them noteworthy:

  1. All 50 states can gain economically from strong federal energy and climate policy, despite the diversity of their economies and energy mixes . . . they all have substantial opportunities to grow their economies by promoting energy saving and domestic renewable energy alternatives.

  2. Contrary to what is commonly assumed, comprehensive national climate policy does not benefit the coasts at the expense of the heartland states. In fact, heartland states will gain more by reducing imported fossil fuel dependence because they are generally spending a higher proportion of their income on this low employment, high price risk supply chain.

  3. The country as a whole can gain 918,000 to 1.9 million jobs, and household income can grow by $488 to $1,176, by 2020 under comprehensive energy and climate policy . . . Indeed, a central finding of this research is that the stronger the federal climate policy, the greater the economic reward.

If President Obama can mold the economic advantages of both into his sales pitch, many more people will sign on. President Obama has little choice on addressing many issues at once because President Bush refused to address most domestic issues. He stuck to 2 wars and tax cuts for the rich as his priorities. I'd argue he even left Obama will this oil spill crisis by allowing the industry to self-police for so long. If I wanted that Bush "oh, that issue can wait" policy I would have voted for McCain. Well, I will say at least Bush tried to push for immigration reform-back when Republicans admitted the need for it-but his own party sunk that effort. The Democrats are trying to address the jobs issue. They pushed legislation that would help state governments keep people on the job but Republicans voted it down, won't support it. So which party cares about job creation and supporting the unemployed? Just look at the votes. Thank goodness the stimulus passed when it did because the job picture would have been even worse without it. And yet the Republicans bash that, too, even as they happily pose for photos at ribbon-cutting ceremonies and as they announce jobs in their district. What is their solution? Oh, how could I forget? Tax cuts for big business and the rich. That should work!

Here's the video of the speech if you missed it. I really hope this issue can gain some momentum. It is long overdue. The only way Republicans will get on board is through pressure from the American people, or maybe some Hispanic/Latino groups. Since they have supported efforts in the past, they KNOW this is important but will they do the right thing?

American will not support "immigration reform" without the government committing to do a better job at securing the Mexican border first.

Most people understand that one of the main problems is that we don't enforce the immigration laws we already have.

What most Americans don't understand is that people will continue to cross the border as long as their is greater economic opportunity in the U.S.  We need to work with Mexico to raise their standard of living and develop their economy.  Mexico has abundant resources and could be a very wealthy nation, but they have horrible government. 

If I'm not mistaken, a large(r?) number of people crossing our southern border are from Central American states -- not necessarily Mexico. 

We need a workable work policy that would allow the migrant worker to cross the border legally do harvest our crops and work in our  meat/dairy farms.  We can't afford to pay workers minium wage, much less a liveable wage, without raising the cost of goods, you know groceries and the like, but 20% or more.

Businesses need to stop hiring them to do work under the table and this includes those individuals who drive to the home depot parking lot and pick up the day laboror as well.

Give up the war on drugs and come to the realization that folks are going to use drugs regardless of the amount of money wasted trying to stop it.  Sale / tax it like we do that other drug - alcholol.



Way to make a negative, annoying spammer hit into a positive opportunity!

The thanks should be on Colbert for having the migrant worker series right as the thread was bumped by spam.

On another note I don't like that you and some others might never see their shows if I didn't post the videos. You should watch and DVR them if you can. Well worth it. 

Because then I worry that you guys won't see them otherwise. lol

Not everyone has or can afford a DVR. Although it IS on my wishlist.

I've been catching Stewart/Colbert in the mornings at 7am my time. I still enjoy Stewart more than Colbert.

I think that Colbert's series on farm work, while it does hit in some spots, is pretty shallow and mis-representative of the issues involved. 

I used to watch both shows very regularly, but lately its been hit-or-miss so your video posts help me catch up when I only have a few minutes at a time.

BTW, Stewart's (Asif Mandvi's) piece on the union picketers -- and the double standards -- was outstanding! 


Oh, I thought that that was very ironic.

I know... the whole time that guy wouldn't just "man up" and admit to the irony and double stds... he made a complete a$$ of himself by not just admitting to it. 


SNL season premiere in 5 minutes EST. 

I should have given more warning than 5 minutes. lol 

Never! Just imagine, the more people would come to this country with very low demands on salary, the lower the salary all over the country becomes. And then all the americans will suffer from the lack of money and so on. Plus I don't want my kids to mess aroung with imigrants, it is way to dangerous and risky.

Fiona Crosby, frequent scrabble helper user.

Congratulations on your selfish attitude!

Except for what's left of the native American population, ALL OF US (at least our ancestors) came to this country as immigrants. If the founding fathers had this attitude, none of us would be citizens of this country now. None of what you said makes any rational sense.

I will judge your little diatribe for what it is: racism. I therefore dismiss it.

I really do believe that racism is a sickness. If a person's perception of a group of people is filled with fear, hatred, indifference, hostility and the desire to exterminate or completely seperate themselves, then they are not thinking rationally. Their mindset is no different than hitler, stalin, black panthers, Radical Muslims and every other hate speech and indoctrination!!

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