As Immigration Reform is yet again thrust to the forefront of American politics, President Obama gathered business, labor, religious and political leaders at the White House on Tuesday to address our nation's immigration laws and to strategize about reviving the overhaul legislation in Congress.
With the mounting frustration among Latino leaders and communities regarding immigration policies, the President is attempting to initiate efforts to pass the immigration overhaul, which could potentially provide legal status for millions of illegal immigrants. Under the Obama administration, deportations have reached record numbers and immigrant communities are growing increasingly exasperated with the lack of relief and reform legislation. Although certain Latino groups applauded President Obama for Tuesday's immigration brainstorming session, it is apparent that the probability of passing an immigration overhaul is unlikely considering the Republican majority in the House of Representatives that is strongly opposed to reform legislation. During the meeting, President Obama asked for assistance in garnering Republican support for the bill.
According to attendees of the meeting, President Obama stated that the immigration overhaul would promote entrepreneurialism and has the potential to stimulate economic recovery in the United States. Other immigration topics discussed during the session included the prospect of passing smaller pieces of legislation, such as the DREAM Act, which would provide a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrant students, who through no fault of their own, were brought to this country by their undocumented parents. Another piece of legislation would increase visas for highly skilled foreign workers.
With a country divided on immigration reform, and the presidential election upon us next year, one thing is clear - Latino voters could be a major force in many crucial states throughout the country. Nevertheless, many Republicans in Congress maintain their staunch opposition to an immigration overhaul that they erroneously believe will unjustly provide amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants.