Tuesday, September 25, 2007
We are very pleased to post an exclusive interview with Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill), one of the candidates vying for the Democratic Presidential nomination. We prepared a list of questions for Senator Obama on a range of difficult immigration issues, including immigration reform, undocumented immigration, family immigration, local (anti-)immigration ordinances, the U.S. government's treatment of Elvira Arrellano, integration of immigrants into U.S. society, the deaths along the U.S./Mexico border, and his vote in favor of the Secure Fence Act. Readers will find that Senator Obama's responses made for an interesting dialogue! For Senator Obama's official position statement on "Immigration and the Border," click here.
We have been in contact with the campaigns of several other 2008 Presidential candidates. We hope that other candidates will be willing to answer the same questions that we posed to Senator Obama.
The Candidate: Barack Obama is the junior U.S. Senator from Illinois and the only African American currently serving in the U.S. Senate. Born to a Kenyan father and a white American mother, Senator Obama lived much of his childhood in Hawaii; he spent four of his pre-teen years in Indonesia. He is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School. At Harvard, Senator Obama was the first African American President of the Harvard Law Review, one of the leading law reviews in the United States.
Before running for office, Senator Obama worked as a community organizer and civil rights lawyer. He served in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, launching his campaign for U.S. Senate in 2003. He delivered a much-heralded keynote address at the 2004 Democratic Convention (click here for a video of the first part of that speech). Obama went on to win election to the U.S. Senate in November 2004, garnering 70% of the vote. He announced his candidacy for President in February 2007.
Senator Obama has authored two books: a memoir entitled Dreams from My Father, and The Audacity of Hope, a commentary on U.S. politics.
The Interview: Here (Download senator_obama_interview.pdf) are the questions that we posed to Senator Obama about immigration and his responses. The questions are in bold type and Senator Obama's responses are in regular type.
We trust that you will find the dialogue of interest.
Jennifer Chacón, Bill Hing, and Kevin Johnson
Disclaimer: All three of us have served as members of an Immigration Policy Group for the Obama campaign. We drafted the questions as a group and did not play any role in formulating the responses.