Tag Archives: Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)

Immigration Bill Up and Falling

luis-gutierrezNew Orleans Over the last 15 months I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with local and national efforts committed to winning comprehensive immigration reform.  I know how urgently and desperately felt the need for real reform and real solutions are for 12 million undocumented workers and their families.  I have been in meetings with the outstanding and firebrand Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez who finally introduced a bill whose initials read:  C.I.R.A.S.A.P. – essentially comprehensive immigration reform now.  But, saying all that and holding my breath I can already feel the bill falling even as it is put up on the calendar.

The story was buried in the Times at the bottom of page 26 in the 2nd “news” section, and I couldn’t even find it in the Wall Street Journal – if in fact it was there.  And, maybe that was the good news, because the bill was already bleeding badly from the expected cuts:  “too liberal to win” according to “Democrats in the Senate;” no plan for “future flow” of labor which is a business/political cause in some Republican and Democratic quarters; and in the deepest gash the reporter Randal Archibold writes “the bill was declared dead on arrival by some Republicans – and, privately, by some Democrats – and denounced as impractical….”  None of this is good news for the debut of our “best foot forward.”

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Immigration Summit Exclusion

luis-gutierrez New Orleans The upcoming Obama Immigration Reform Summit has a weird twist to it that distinguishes it from earlier summits on healthcare reform and the stimulus package.  None of the advocate organizations, stakeholders, or anyone else other than politicians is being invited into the room.  Let’s tell it like it is:  this is a political clubhouse meeting, not a summit.

A summit brings everyone together to look for common ground.  The more this one shapes up and the likely attendance list becomes clear, it seems that this is simply a political placeholder for the real deal.  The President and his people are sending a message out that they still care, rather than being to lift the heavy weight on what it will take to achieve comprehensive reform.

What movement still exists for reform is being asked to settle for getting messages back and forth from their “representatives.” Labor, healthcare stakeholders, and for those with a memory of the civil rights struggle, would never have been left out of a real summit about something so critical to their future.

This is wrong.  This is an insult.

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