After Obama’s Immigration Speech, Reform Burden Shifts To Congress, Advocates Say

It’s up to Congress now to tackle the thorny issue of immigration reform after President Obama made his case Tuesday standing on the U.S. border, according to reform supporters.

Obama traveled to the border at El Paso, Texas to call for enactment of comprehensive immigration reform, an issue that both Obama and his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, have so far been unsuccessful in accomplishing.

“So one way to strengthen the middle class in America is to reform the immigration system so that there is no longer a massive underground economy that exploits a cheap source of labor while depressing wages for everybody else. I want incomes for middle-class families to rise again,” Obama says. “I want prosperity in this country to be widely shared. I want everybody to be able to reach that American dream. And that’s why immigration reform is an economic imperative. It’s an economic imperative.

“And reform will also help to make America more competitive in the global economy. Today, we provide students from around the world with visas to get engineering and computer science degrees at our top universities,” the president adds.

Independent advocates praised Obama’s remarks, and now want lawmakers to step up to the plate.

“The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund appreciates President Obama traveling to the border city of El Paso, Texas to speak this afternoon about the important issue of comprehensive immigration reform,” the organization, which facilitates Latinos in the American political process, says in a statement released after the president’s appearance. “He reiterated in his remarks today that border security is a top priority and is indeed being addressed, but not at the expense of fixing our broken immigration system.

“The President has listened to the community and is clearly ready to move forward. It is now time for Congress to do the same,” the NALEO statement adds.

A prominent group which represents U.S. cities also calls for immigration reform.

The mushrooming number of immigration statutes at the state and local level, such as Arizona’s controversial state law, demands federal action on the matter, according to the National League of Cities (NLC).

NLC calls for the president and Congress to overcome their differences and find a way to move forward. Reform will provide an avenue for cities to move illegal immigrants out of the shadows and allow them to become fully contributing participants within their communities, the organization says in a statement.

“Immigration has been a source for economic growth and innovation. From its founding, the nation has been strengthened socially, culturally and economically by recent immigrants,” says James Mitchell Jr., president of NLC and a councilmember in Charlotte, N.C.

“Our nation needs to remain open to new sources of ideas and inspiration if we are to compete in the global market,” he adds.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) also praised Obama’s approach, saying that immigration reform must mean more than secure U.S. borders.

“No one can deny we have made significant strides in securing our border –- with more border patrol agents, better surveillance technology and a stronger fence than ever before. Democrats know there’s more work to be done, which is why we successfully fought a Republican budget that would have fired border agents and put our safety at risk. But as the President said today, to fix our broken immigration system, we must honestly assesses our immigration policies and their impact on our economy, legal system and local governments, and pursue a comprehensive solution to the problem,” Reid says.

“We need an effective and efficient legal immigration system. Part of securing our nation is knowing who is already here, so we must require the 11 million undocumented immigrants to register with the government, pay taxes and fines, learn English and go to the back of the line before they can achieve legal status,” he adds. “We should give the best and brightest students from around the globe –- who come here to take advantage of our world-class education system –- a chance to start businesses that employ American workers.”

Scott Nance is the editor and publisher of the news site The Washington Current. He has covered Congress and the federal government for more than a decade.

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One Response to After Obama’s Immigration Speech, Reform Burden Shifts To Congress, Advocates Say

  1. Dave Francis says:

    1986 IMMIGRATION CONTROL & REFORM ACT WILL BE ENFORCED BY THE TEA PARTY

    On March 17, 2011, Democrat Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada speculated for reasons known to himself, that the TEA PARTY would be short lived and disappear? Where he came up with this hypothesis makes the Tea Party branch members laugh, as the Tea Party is continually growing and now in the tens of millions. Senator Reid has a dense amount of illegal aliens in the Silver State and is obviously pandering. States as Nevada and California must receive oversight to observe if illegal aliens are voting in elections, as absentee ballots are easy to forge numerous times. As of today there are thousands of these cells, as the spirited Founder and chair Rev. William Temple of Freedom Jamboree and the Tea Party National Straw Poll Convention explained at the news conference. Temple reprimanded the majority Speaker of the House Republicans, John Boehner. He had not sufficiently pushed for a cut in the massive federal deficit of 14.5 Trillion dollars and climbing each day. One of the main issues that must be exposed is the distraction of the illegal immigration invasion. This is currently associated with jobs, the economy, gasoline prices and banks that not lending to home buyers.

    In El Paso, Texas, yesterday president Obama made a speech relating border security and the need to allow more immigrants into America? My assumption we should ask the 22 million Americans who are unable to find a full time jobs, specifically the poorer workers who don’t have a higher education? So just what we necessitate is more immigrant labor so says the President? According to the president’s speech and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano the border is more secure now, than it’s ever been? Yet according to the General Accounting office “illegal aliens can only be stopped along 129 miles of our nearly 2,000 mile long border with Mexico and along only 2 miles of our nearly 4,000 mile long border with Canada!” Local Border Sheriffs Larry Dever of Cochise County and Paul Babeu of Pinal County and anonymous Border agents have a different attitude to Obama’s statement.

    The border region is more dangerous than ever before? That the border is so dangerous, that there are signs indicating these certain areas are off limits to the American public. Rep. Michele Bachmann, Senator Rand Paul, key leadership of the Tea Party opposes measures of easing immigration restrictions. Over the previous 3 decades, our borders have become less effective, with easy access in some locations to illegal immigrants, increasing the flood while the enforcement of our existing immigration laws have fallen on deaf ears. Rep. Bachmann stated, ” I support legislation that first addresses our most urgent problem: securing America’s borders. We must start by using new technologies such as electronic surveillance where most effective. We need to enforce current laws by holding responsible those who willfully violate our nation’s immigration laws.”

    Bachmann also co-sponsored declaring English as the official language of the US. Activists have said remove incentives and rewards to illegal aliens such as licenses, welfare, and other taxpayer services. Senator Rand Paul in my personal letter said, “I also believe that subsidizing something creates more of it, and I do not think the American taxpayers should be forced to pay for welfare, medical care and other expenses for illegal immigrants. I will work to stop those taxpayer funded benefits.” America is a land of charitable and compassionate people, but our generosity and principles are being strained and being abused by those who are willing to break the law, taking our jobs and our tax dollars. Why is it not a felony to enter the United States without permission? Today these individuals are protesting and demanding even more from the taxpayers, in the form of education, health care, services that is provided to citizens and legal residents.

    The Tea Party America’s has declared that the illegal alien population will begin to shrink instead of growing, if we support candidates that will reflect the will of the vast majority of American citizens. The revolt within the Republican Party is the TEA PARTY who is resentful of both political parties having agendas to support their individual empowerment. This accounts for thousands of extra votes for Democrats and for the GOP exploitable cheap labor. Neither is the belief of the TEA PARTY that wants stronger enforcement at the North and Southern border, which includes a National Guard presence, with the ability to kill drug smuggling, weapons and illegal immigrants, with force if necessary? Furthermore, the mandated use of the new version of E-Verify, that carries tough penalties for businesses that hire workers, without legal status. In addition, the Permanent operation of “Secure Communities” in local police locations, to fingerprint and check their criminal charges through ICE data bases.

    The Tea Party will not tolerate any further Amnesties, after the Great 1986 Amnesty laws were ignored by both parties. Internally in America, 20 million illegal aliens still find work in notorious businesses of every classification. The 2006 Secure (Double) Fence Act was intentionally unfunded just months after being enacted. The Tea Party apposes Sanctuary Cities, Chain Migration and the court mishandled instant citizen for babies intentionally conceived to gain entrance for illegal parents into America. The Dream Act, which in turn will add to the Chain Migration and Immigration Reform, a misleading name for Amnesty. All these lenient rewards, just encourages further exploitation and a unfettered magnet to financial benefits and public services once crossing the border or overstaying expired visas. The American people have woken up and each day are finding that the Tea Party (perhaps third party) are more like their middle class interpretation that they are striving for? The Tea Party stands somewhere between Democrats and Republicans in definition, as moderate Conservatism have received amazing results in such a short time. So Join the TEA PARTY as the revolution has just begun, to fade out the radical people who run this country. Skilled immigrants with high profession job expertise will receive the hospitality of all Americans, including the Tea party members. But we must stop the unfettered incursion of people, who will need welfare assistance and will displace impoverished Americans who still have a manual jobs.