(Eleventh in Border Lines series on the Movement for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.)
The leaders of the immigrant-rights movement are once again mobilizing in support of comprehensive immigration reform (CIR). The same figures that created the Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CCIR) in 2004 are now organizing to move a future CIR bill – as yet not introduced or even proposed – through Congress in late 2009 and early 2010. More than sixty reporters participated Jan. e in a briefing via conference call – titled “A Movement for Reform, Making Immigration Reform Happen with the new President and Congress” -- sponsored by the National Immigration Forum.
The featured presenters were Cardinal Roger Mahoney of Los Angeles, Janet Murguia, president of National Council of La Raza; Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, and John Wilhelm, president of Unite Here.
If we are to believe the directors of the National Immigration Forum, America’s Voice, and National Council of La Raza, CIR is around the corner in the Obama administration. However, the past political and analytical failures of this same circle of immigrant-rights groups – to say nothing of any more measured evaluation of the country’s economic and political realities -- leave plenty of room for skepticism. Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, told reporters that “2009 will be the year for immigration reform.”
According to Noorani:
"At this moment we are on the cusp of a sea change in the United States of America, and I think it is fair to say that this sea change that we’re about to see is due in large part to the power and the vitality of the immigrant and Hispanic votes."Certainly the country needs a sensible and sustainable immigration reform. But these DC groups seem more interested in appealing to their own circumscribed constituencies than reaching out to America with a persuasive pro-immigration message and political strategy.
Read entire TransBorder commentary
(Next in Border Lines' CIR Series: Immigrant Principles of Immigration Reform.)
Photo: Frank Sharry, executive director of America's Voice