A protester in New York holds a sign reading “Napolitano: Don’t Put Our Communities on Ice,” a reference to Immigration and Customs Enforcement policies.
Following through on a pledge made by President Obama earlier this year, the White House has announced it will insist on measures that give legal status to an estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants in a push for overhaul of the existing immigration system beginning early next year.
The New York Times:
The Obama administration will insist on measures to give legal status to an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in legislation to overhaul the immigration system that it will begin to push early next year, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Friday.
In an address at the Center for American Progress, a liberal policy group in Washington, Ms. Napolitano sought to dispel any notion that the administration — with health care, energy and other major issues crowding its agenda — might postpone the most contentious piece of an immigration overhaul until after midterm elections next November.
Laying out the administration’s bottom line, she said it will argue for a “three-legged stool” that includes tougher enforcement laws against illegal immigrants and the people who hire them and streamlining the system for legal immigration, but also what she called a “tough and fair pathway to earned legal status.”
With unemployment surging over 10 percent and Congress wrestling with health care, advocates on all sides of the immigration debate had started to doubt that President Obama would keep to his pledge to take on the divisive issue of illegal immigration in the first months of 2010.