Today, 12 grassroots leaders sat down at the table with President Obama to have an open and honest discussion about delivering immigration reform in 2010. Deepak Bhargava, Executive Director of the Center for Community Change, kicked off the meeting by putting things in perspective for the President.
“The President today heard two messages loud and clear. He heard about the pain caused by the administration’s enforcement only approach to immigration and how it is tearing families apart. He also heard about the possible consequences of breaking his promises to deliver comprehensive reform: a growing backlash in the immigrant and Latino communities.”
That growing backlash will soon be descending on the nation’s capitol as tens of thousands of people prepare to march for immigration reform on March 21st. It is the looming prospect of this mass mobilization that drove the administration to meet with grassroots leaders today. We’ve been building our power as a movement and now we are demonstrating that power. We have earned our place at the table and the President has promised concrete next steps.
“We walk away from this very productive meeting optimistic that if the White House follows through on its commitments, comprehensive reform can be achieved this year. Organizers are doing their part. This meeting is the direct result of the tens of thousands of people preparing to march on Washington on the 21st of this month. Now, the President and Congress need to do their part.”
Today, we heard yet another affirmation of the President’s commitment to our issue. On March 21st, we will affirm that commitment is not enough, we need real action on immigration reform this year.