Obama Begins on Immigration Reform

Monday, 08 Mar 2010 03:11 PM

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The Obama administration soon may be moving on craftinng a law that would eventually legalize some 10 million undocumented foreign workers living in the United States.

President Obama is scheduled to meet today with the two senators — Democrat Charles E. Schumer and Republican Lindsey Graham — to plot a course for introducing bipartisan immigration legislation this spring.

"The basis of a bill would include a path toward citizenship for the 10.8 million people living in the U.S. illegally,” the Los Angeles Times reported Friday. “Citizenship would not be granted lightly, the White House said. Undocumented workers would need to register, pay taxes and pay a penalty for violating the law. Failure to comply might result in deportation.

White House spokesman Nick Shapiro told the Times that the president's support for an immigration bill, which would also include improved border security, was "unwavering."

The pro-amnesty National Council of La Raza is impatient for clear signs of movement, according to the Huffington Post.

"If the meeting is just to 'hear more,' it's not going to cut it," Clarissa Martinez of La Raza said in Huffington Post. Martinez wants a clear sign of movement from Obama's meeting with Schumer and Graham.

"With the Congressional legislative runway getting crowded and time running out before the November elections, it is time to land this plane," said Martinez. "Monday's meeting must be followed by a clear, bipartisan proposal and a firm timeline for Senate action. Anything less will be regarded as more stalling by the tens of thousands coming to DC to march in two weeks."

On March 21, Latino activists are planning a demonstration intended to raise the pressure for congressional and White House action, despite the widespread feeling in political circles that there is little chance for substantive action on a bill this year.

Meanwhile, the Spanish language TV network Univision reported on Friday that while presidential advisers "are aware of the difficulty of the political challenge, nevertheless they say the president hasn't moved back from his intention to advance this project."



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