Tag Archives: obama on immigration

VIDEO: Obama Talks About Immigration

Obama gave an interview with “El Pistolero” radio show and it was featured on Univision.

End the Candidates’ Silence on Immigration!

So far, one topic has been glaringly absent from the Presidential debates: immigration. As I’ve posted various times in the past few weeks, both Barack Obama and John McCain have yet to answer a debate question on the topic (even while they court the much sought-after Latino vote).

Obama and McCain haven’t been afraid to talk about who is to blame for the demise of 2007’s immigration bill. In dueling Spanish-language ads, McCain has unfairly accused Obama of trying to block the major immigration bill that he supported. Obama retaliated with an equally questionable ad tying McCain to immigration hardliners like Rush Limbaugh who McCain has generally stood up to. Yet amidst all of this finger-pointing, neither candidate has adequately addressed the bottom line: what would they do, as president, to fix our broken immigration system?

Well, now is the time. Organizations and individuals across the country are calling on both candidates to address immigration during the upcoming debate on Wednesday night.

The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) held a press conference in their Manhattan office today at noon to discuss what they hope to hear from the candidates and describe unprecedented efforts to get out the immigrant vote. Tomorrow, immigrant advocates and supporters are expected to rally outside the debate at Hofstra University asking the candidates to stop “ignoring the 12 million elephants in the room.” Senators McCain and Obama should take this opportunity to break the silence.

Let’s hope that both candidates heed the overwhelming desire for this issue to be addressed.

Candidates Guides on Immigration

As I’ve mentioned before, our two presidential candidates are unabashedly courting the Latino vote, while remaining hesitant to discuss immigration.

Our immigration system in the United States is broken, and as immigration raids spiral out of control and immigrants are blamed for anything and everything, we are in dire need of a sensible discussion about this issue.


Have no fear, the Immigration Policy Center to the rescue! IPC has recently released to documents, to help political candidates engage in thoughtful and articulate dialogue about immigration.

The candidate packet was created as a resource for candidates and current elected officials to use in their efforts towards  achieving a real, effective, and practical immigration policy that keeps the interests of all those living and working in our country at heart. 

A Candidate’s Guide to Immigration along with a two-page document of Answers to the Toughest Questions are factual documents, backed by hard data and statistics.

I highly recommend Answers to the Toughest Questions to both presidential candidates. Now you can stop avoiding the topic and start a desperately needed dialogue with the American public!

Both Sides of the Immigration Plank

While the Democrats were rallying in Denver last week, Republicans met to hammer out the McCain Platform being presented this week in St. Paul.

Duke at MigraMatters posted on some details of the Immigration plank of the Republican Platform (and the deliberations that created the plank).

In sharp contrast to the 2004 platform, whose immigration plank clearly reflected the highly flawed Bush/McCain doctrine on immigration reform, relying heavily on a pro-business guest-worker program, a modified and somewhat limited path to citizenship for the 12 mill undocumented workers, and stricter enforcement with limited judicial review, this year’s platform is based entirely upon increased enforcement, raids and deportation.

So this means we can expect more of this and this?

The current platform full-throatily endorses the “deportation through attrition” model so favored by hate groups like FAIR and their allies in the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus led by ex-FAIR lobbyist Brian Bilbray.

While the 2004 platform at least tried to leave a modicum of human dignity for migrant workers intact by paying lip service to ” the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of immigrants” and the essential role they play in the nation’s economic vitality, this years platform, after four years of a campaign of misinformation from anti-immigrant activists, reflects more the rants of Tom Tancredo and Lou Dobbs than a practical governing tool.

The platform itself is decidedly anti-migrant, but the real sentiments seem to have come out during the deliberations process.

Two delegates wanted to harden the language surrounding the issue of amnesty. The draft read, “We oppose amnesty.” But, delegates from North Carolina and Colorado wanted to include opposition to “comprehensive immigration reform” because they believe it is a code word for amnesty. This sparked a heated discussion between members with a delegate from Washington DC who said that the Republican Party is a “not a xenophobic party, not an intolerant party. We are a compassionate party that insists on the rule of law and endorses federal law,” said Bud McFarlane. Kendal Unruh from Colorado, who wanted to include “opposition to comprehensive immigration reform” to the draft, seemed to take offense to that statement citing her missionary work and saying that she would “never have the label” of xenophobic “slapped on me.” She continued to press that the committee add the tougher language to stop “behind the door tactics” to prevent “amnesty” of illegal aliens.

This is compared to the Democratic immigration plank that I posted on (with Duke’s help) earlier this month.

On the good side there is a commitment to take up comprehensive reform within the first year, a plan to regularize the status of the 12mil undocumented migrants already living in the US, an acknowledgment that conditions in sender nations that foster increased migration must be dealt with, a reaffirmation of the commitment to the principles of family based immigration, an increase in the number of available visas, and a call to fix the dysfunctional immigration bureaucracy.

On the bad side, the platform is still mired down in the language of enforcement and criminalization that marked previous failed efforts at reform. Calls for increased border enforcement and security as a means to regulate migration, and promises of getting tough on those who “disrespect the law”, while perhaps smart political theater, are not constructive ways to address a broken immigration system, and only add to the divisive and dehumanizing nature of the debate.

Check out the original post for the full text of Obama’s Immigration plank.