By Reynold N. Mason JD
Atlanta April 5, 2011.
President Obama is beginning to feel the pressure from immigration activists. He kicked off his re-election campaign just this week. But activist with an issue to push know that campaign season is prime time for political promises. The promises may not always be kept but, it does not require much savoir faire to extract a promise or nail a plank into a candidate’s political platform.
Politico reports that, Change Takes Time, an immigration activist group, pushing for comprehensive immigration reform, has plans to stage events across the country, including president Obama’s home state of Hawaii, to promote immigration reform. White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, has said that the president is committed to immigration reform and that the broader agenda includes amnesty. But some experts say that immigration reform is such a divisive issue that it is likely to languish for the rest of the year, while the president gets his re-election machinery up and running.
Despite campaigning on the issue of comprehensive immigration reform in 2008, Mr. Obama has not taken the lead in moving the issue forward. He has said that the “political and mathematical reality “requires that he get bipartisan support, if immigration reform is to make it out of the republican controlled congress. The new congress, with the Judiciary committee now in the hands of rep. Steve King, an avowed strict enforcement advocate, has thus far focused on border security and sanctions for employers who hire illegals.
But, it appears New York senator Schumer has gotten the memo. He has been quietly meeting with moderate republicans in an attempt to breathe new life into the now moribund immigration reform bill that he drafted last year. The senator from New York has made it clear that he supports comprehensive immigration reform with amnesty for illegal's who are law abiding , provided they register , pay taxes and satisfy other specified requirements. The fact that 2012 is an election year bodes well for immigration activists hoping to cash in on the promissory generosity of candidates running for political office. Immigration is a top issue among Hispanics, now the nation’s largest minority group according to the US census bureau. They will have something to say about the question. They make up significant voting blocks in places like California, Texas. Arizona and other border states. Candidates are not going to overlook that fact.