Tag Archives: schumer

Immigration Reform: The Building Blocks are in Place

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Today, amidst speculations that the White House is distancing itself from earlier committments to comprehensive immigration reform this year, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) reiterated that reform is, in fact, possible this year.

And on Wednesday, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Judiciary subcommittee that handles immigration, went one step further, saying that “all the fundamental building blocks are in place to pass comprehensive reform this session, and even possibly later this year.”

Tomorrow, President Obama will meet with key members of Congress to begin discussion about immigration reform. Leaders like Schumer, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and immigration subcommittee ranking member John Cornyn (R-Texas) will hopefully be pressing the commander in chief to ACT on his committment to reform, rather than continue to give the issue lip-service.

As Frank Sherry states in today’s piece at the Huffington Post:

Ultimately, the question we face is this: are we going to allow hardliners who want nothing less than the expulsion of millions of immigrant families already living in our communities to dominate the debate? Or are we going to live up to our tradition as both a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws and write a new chapter in the American story of how including “them” makes for a stronger “us?”

Immigration reform will not be easy, and yet, this is the kind of big issue that led you to proclaim the fierce urgency of now and run for President.

This is your kind of fight, Mr. President. History is calling

Tomorrow, we will see if the President and members of Congress are ready to rise to the occasion.

Thursday’s Hearing on Immigration is a Big Step Forward

Tomorrow Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will hold his first hearing as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Refugees. The hearing is titled Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2009, Can We Do It and How?”. The list of speakers is expansive – and promising.

The hearing will feature testimony from Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, Dr. Joel Hunter of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and SEIU’s Eliseo Medina, to name a few.

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Is it me, or do these speakers resemble the broad-based coalition that is coming together to support immigration reform in 2009? We have Greenspan representing the economic and business interests, Hunter bringing the faith-based support to the table and Medina showing that the support of the labor unions is going strong.

Jackie from America’s Voice will be live-blogging the hearing, be sure to tune in at 2:00 pm and listen to what goes down. Check it out here.

The hearing is a sign that reform is really going to happen this year – this is a small step, but an extremely strong one. It shows that the momentum for reform is growing, and not just from pro-migrant advocates.

America’s Voice answers both questions posed in the hearing (“can it be done”? and “how”?):

It will be instructive to see how both parties behave during next week’s Senate Judiciary Hearing, “Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2009, Can We Do It and How?””

With the White House recently renewing its pledge to move forward on immigration reform this year with the unified support of the nation’s largest labor coalitions, we might expect the answer to the first question to be, “Yes.”

To answer the question, “How?”

Tune into what the public- not the noisy Minuteman minority- really want. Weigh the economic benefits of legalizing twelve million underground workers and cracking down on bad-actor employers against the human and financial costs of deporting 12 million men, women, and children.

Most importantly, take the debate back from the extremists.

Not only is the hearing a great step forward, but the next day, on May 1st, hundreds of thousands of people will be taking it to the streets, showing the American public’s appetite for reform and their commitment to the issue. For more on the May Day marches, check out www.anewdayforimmigration.org.