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Ear to the Ground

Obama Sets His Sights on Immigration Overhaul

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Posted on Jul 1, 2010
Obama
AP / Charles Dharapak

President Barack Obama speaks on immigration reform Thursday at American University in Washington.

Health care, the economy, a devastating Gulf of Mexico oil spill, hmmm ... what other issues out there are practically insurmountable? Ah yes, immigration—President Barack Obama’s next action item on his to-do list.  —KA

The New York Times:

President Obama pressed Congress on Thursday to pass comprehensive immigration legislation to fix a “fundamentally broken” system by toughening enforcement of existing laws while creating a path to citizenship for many of the 11 million people in the United States illegally.

In his first speech devoted entirely to the hotly disputed issue since taking office, Mr. Obama tried to navigate between what he called the two extremes of the immigration debate, defending his efforts to strengthen border security while rejecting the idea of mass deportations as “logistically impossible and wildly expensive.” But he said change could not wait, despite the political risks.

“In sum, the system is broken and everybody knows it,” he told an audience of lawmakers, activists, business executives and labor leaders at the American University in Washington. “Unfortunately, reform has been held hostage to political posturing, special-interest wrangling and to the pervasive sentiment in Washington that tackling such a thorny and emotional issue is inherently bad politics.”

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By dihey, July 2, 2010 at 4:54 am Link to this comment

Yes Gerard there are always in-betweens. Sometimes they are really bad but other times they bring resolution where the extreme positions are frozen in solidly. I believe that the issue of illegal residents is in the second category. With regards to illegal residents there will be no resolution until both sides, the pro’s and anti’s get something. I have consistently advocated a solution in which illegal residents become legal residents but without the right to become citizens. With this status they can legally live, work, and own property here. Children born in the USA are automatic US citizens and can inherit their parent’s property like any other US citizen. If an illegal resident wants to become a U.S. citizen he/she must return to the country of birth and apply for a regular green card admission.
I would make one exception namely for illegal residents who entered the US at age 16 or younger. Those illegal residents I would give green cards right away.

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G.Anderson's avatar

By G.Anderson, July 1, 2010 at 9:34 pm Link to this comment

Let’s see now:

Healthcare reform - fail, the economy - fail, financial reform - fail, the Gulf Disaster - fail.

Immigration reform…?  I suppose there’s some chance that he could succeed at something…

But chances are, it’s going to be just one more gargantuan failure….

Then its crank up the corporate propaganda machine to convince the people of how wonderful it all is…

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By Gilbert of Woodhaven, New York, July 1, 2010 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The immigration issue is a problem that needs to be
resolve. Waiting for time is a defeatist option. It
worsens the situation. Now is the time to face it
squarely.

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By gerard, July 1, 2010 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

I really resent news and political agencies (particularly) framing every issue in terms of “yes” or “no.”  Like the ad in this line of Truthdig:  “Arizona or Obama.”  “My country, right or wrong.”  “Free or slave.”  “Victory or Defeat.”
  There are a thousand in-between conditions the get overlooked by the habitual use of radical alternatives like these which prevent people from thinking about possibilities in the middle.
  People for whom the complexities of real situations are too confusing tend to opt for one of two opposite poles and see nothing in between. “If you are not for me you are against me,” etc.
  To favor a more just calibration of present federal immigratioin laws is not a simple choice between doing nothing and doing the right thing, because doing the right thing is going to be complicated—far more complicated that simply plumping for the suggestions of any one person.
  But if we regard locking down the border as the right change and opening up the process to legalization as the wrong change, we are sunk because neither one will fill the needs of millions of people.
  In situations as complicated as this one, a lot of open-mindedness and willingness to compromise will be essential for a decision that will be as fair as possible to all the factors involved.  That would appear ulikely at present what with the political situation as it is—radical, angry disagreement on both sides—reasonable compromise is out of the question unless a different spirit takes hold somehow.
  Obama seems to be deeply committed to this spirit but, due to various pressures, unable to inspire it in others.  Who will help him free the country from its tendencies toward malicious antagonism?

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