Jan 31 2013

Is There Real Hope for Immigration Reform? Pilar Marrero, Jeff Biggers and Gabriela Garcia Discuss

President Obama laid out his plans for immigration reform on Tuesday to a Las Vegas crowd of supporters. Obama took cues for his proposal from a bipartisan coalition of eight senators saying that “the differences are dwindling” between the Right and Left on immigration.

Among the so called “Gang of Eight” senators who helped set the framework for the proposal were Republicans John McCain and Marco Rubio, as well as Democrat Charles Schumer. The main issues in the proposal were a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, increased security at borders and workplaces and incentives for white collar foreign immigrants to legally remain in the country.

While many political pundits, including Rush Limbaugh, have called Obama’s reform efforts admirable, those working in the immigrant rights communities remain highly skeptical. In light of the record number of deportations which have taken place since Obama took office, activists are concerned that the proposal might help continue the epidemic levels of deportation. Pablo Alvarado of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network said, “Until deportations stop, President Obama and Congress will be in the impossible position of deporting the very people they are ostensibly trying to bring into citizenship.” The proposal’s path to citizenship would be contingent upon increased border security.

GUEST: Pilar Marrero author of Killing the American Dream and journalist with La Opinion, Jeff Biggers author of State Out of the Union, Gabriela Garcia senior campaigner with presente.org

Read Jeff Biggers’ article in Common Dreams.

Visit Pilar’s website.

Read Gabriela Garcia’s blog post on the presente.org website.

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