Barack Weighs In on Immigration

From the Senate press office of Sen. Barack Obama (not his campaign office):


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) released the following statement on the Senate's failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform:

"Today, the U.S. Senate failed the American people by blocking progress on immigration reform for the second time in two years. By failing to pass a bill, we have done nothing to solve the problem of the more than 2,000 immigrants who cross our borders every day and the 12 million undocumented who are already here, nor have we addressed the very real concerns of American citizens who rightly believe we should protect our borders."

"This bill was by no means perfect, but even though there were provisions that some of us disagreed with, we should have worked to find common ground on a solution to a problem that isn't going away anytime soon. The American people sent us to Washington precisely to take on tough issues like immigration, and they're tired of a politics that holds progress hostage because of Congress' inability to come together and get things done."


An unsurprisingly politic response from presidential hopeful Obama tells us very little about any real passion he might have for working on immigration issues. Thankfully, he admits the bill's imperfections -- and he certainly takes a more realistic view of our legislative process than I have in these pages, by lauding the need for compromise. (But I'll stick to grounded ideals since I'm not trying to rustle up votes.)

I hold a spot in my heart for this eloquent, young star of the Democratic party, a man who could make a much needed and historic change in the Presidency, but I am a bit dismayed by the language used here where his statement refers to the "problem" being the immigrants themselves -- with no mention of the huge problem of the system that really lies at the base of our current turmoil on this issue. Ditto to his pandering to the security-focused masses with the same slight of hand that the government continues to use to paint immigration as an issue of homeland security. It seems to me this kind of thinking holds us back and Obama could lead us forward if he'd step out of line. Let's see.

(I must admit I haven't looked deeply into the Senator's track record on this. I'm told he proposed several amendments to this late bill that may actually have made improvements in the areas of fairness and family unification. Here's what his campaign website has to say about his positions on immigration.)

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