FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - July 1, 2010
Statement by WCVI President Antonio Gonzalez on President Obama's Immigration Speech
President Obama repeated themes he has enunciated before on the need for immigration reform. In that regard that was little new: there was much to agree as well as disagree with in his words. But this has already been stated before by Latino leadership.
However in the following passage the President appeared to tacitly endorse elements of a "down payment" on immigration reform approach, namely AgJobs and he explicitly endorsed the Dream Act. He said "…We need to provide farms a legal way to hire the workers they rely on, and a path for those workers to earn legal status. And we should stop punishing innocent young people for the actions of their parents by denying them the chance to stay here and earn an education and contribute their talents to build the country where they've grown up. The DREAM Act would do this, and that's why I supported this bill as a state legislator and as a U.S. senator -- and why I continue to support it as president."
This represents a path to success in the near term and a needed addition to the President's views. The President should promptly call on the Senate to enact both measures in 2010 as building blocks towards eventual thoroughgoing reform of our broken immigration system. Both measures have bipartisan support and could relatively easily be approved if the President deploys his political capital in that direction.