Obama Can't Afford to Ignore Immigration
While I think that we proved this last week with our quick and forceful response to the immigration raid in Bellingham, today's Herald Tribune gives more reasoning behind why Obama must address comprehensive immigration reform this year.
Still, the notion that immigration can be finessed is a mirage. The problem will only get worse, and so will the politics. Obama, 47, a Democrat, would have to renege on his campaign promise to push a major immigration overhaul along the lines of the Kennedy-McCain measure in his first year.
The agriculture, food service and construction industries rely on immigrants. They are going through down times, but they'll need more immigrants when they bounce back.
That's true of the overall economy, says Tamar Jacoby, a scholar who favors an overhaul of the immigration system.
"Immigration reform may be harder in the middle of a recession, to make the case that we need more workers," Jacoby says. "But the only way out of a recession is to grow out of it, and we need workers to do that."
Even with the drop in the number of illegal immigrants - there are still an estimated 11.5 million in the country, or about 4 percent of the population - the social tensions are worsening. Highly publicized raids are disrupting communities and generating furious resentment among Hispanics.
Click here to read the full article. All signs are pointing to Comprehensive Immigration Reform hitting the floor THIS year. Communities, advocates, families and immigrants across the country will be ready to rally around legislation of Just and Humane reform.