Friday, January 29, 2010

Running for the Hills on Immigration Reform

Kevin Johnson noted Tom Barry's criticism of President Obama on immigration reform. Ruben Navarrette piles on with this op-ed for CNN:

Thirty-seven words. In this week's State of the Union address -- which was more than 7,000 words long and lasted longer than an hour -- all President Obama devoted to the issue of immigration reform was 37 measly words.

Here they are: "And we should continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system -- to secure our borders, enforce our laws and ensure that everyone who plays by the rules can contribute to our economy and enrich our nation."

It's disappointing that Obama didn't spend more time on this pressing issue -- but not surprising. Even though, elsewhere in the speech, Obama reminded Democrats in Congress that "the people expect us to solve problems, not run for the hills," this White House spent the first year in office running for the hills on immigration reform.

In fact, Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, once referred to the issue as the real "third rail" of American politics. You touch it, you die.

Every immigration reform advocate in the country -- including many Latinos -- should be disappointed in Obama. Many of them bought the fairy tale that a Democratic president would magically be more committed to immigration reform than a Republican one. And they expected Obama to make good on the promise he made, while addressing the annual meeting of the National Council of La Raza in July 2008 as a candidate, to treat comprehensive immigration reform as "a top priority in my first year as president." Obviously that didn't happen. Clickhere for the rest of the piece.


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