Thursday, April 7, 2011

Activists and Lawmakers Pressure Obama for Immigration Reform

Both during his campaign and early on in his election, President Obama promised to work on bringing immigration reform to the country. He stated numerous times that he would champion a comprehensive resolution, and allow the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants to come out of the shadows and allow them to take steps to become legal citizens. In fact, at the NALEO conference in 2008, Obama stated, “[w]e must assert our values and reconcile our principles as a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws. That is a priority I will pursue from my very first day.”

Unfortunately, Obama has not lived up to his promises. Advocates are finally coming out to pressure Obama to do so. Most recently a campaign entitled “Change Takes Courage” has started. This campaign consists of immigration activists and lawmakers who are challenging Obama through a series of nationwide events. The organizations are specifically asking Obama to “provide relief to parents of citizen children, military veterans, DREAM-eligible youth and immigrants with deep roots in their communities who work and have families here; to curb ICE programs that undermine the public safety of all communities; and increase protection of all workers.” You can learn more about the campaign at their website:

Representative Luis V. Gutierrez of Obama’s home state Illinois has also started a campaign entitled “Campaign for American Children and Families” to pressure Obama. This campaign focuses on U.S. citizen and non-U.S. citizen families who are being split by deportations. Rep. Gutierrez started a 20 plus city tour. Tour stops will mostly be held at large church gatherings and include families, students eligible for the DREAM Act, and others caught up in deportations. The tour began in Rhode Island on April 2nd. To learn more about the tour please visit Rep. Gutierrez’s website at

Although Obama has not released a blueprint for immigration reform, pressure from lawmakers, activists, and the people of this country is a strong step forward to force Obama to carry out his promises.

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