Post Election Memo to President Obama

Wednesday, 21 November 2012 17:33

Congratulations on your win in this year’s presidential election.  Now is the time to live up to your commitments to the Hispanic community.

 

Please follow through with your post-election mandate on immigration and fulfill your promises by pushing a truly comprehensive immigration package through Congress. You won this election because you captured a record percentage of the Hispanic vote (71%). (Link one) They voted for you not because you fulfilled your promises from the last election--because you didn't--but because you represented a less dangerous option than the Republicans with their talk of building walls and “self deportation.” The Republicans have learned their lesson, and if the Democrats want to keep the Hispanic vote they must pass real Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) soon.

 

You may say, “How can I get immigration reform through the Tea Party Republican dominated House”? This is where your side must compromise. You can get enough Republican (there are moderate pro-business Republicans) votes to pass CIR if the legislation includes a guest worker program for farm workers and other low-skill industries, and a significant increase in the number of visas for highly skilled workers. These two items, coupled with a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented already here and the other components that you mentioned in your Wednesday November 14th press conference, (Link two)  will result in a CIR bill that will win Congressional approval if you keep all of the Democrat votes.

 

In 2007 George Bush backed and brought to the floor CIR essentially similar to the one you outlined on Wednesday. It was opposed by unions because of its guest worker program and failed when it was killed in the Senate. (Link three) Fifteen Democrat Senators voted against it. In the 2010 lame duck Senate, four Democrat Senators failed to support the Dream Act and as a result it failed to gain closure. To keep this from happening again it might be necessary to include a mechanism to federally fund retraining of displaced workers.

 

Here’s the bottom line; if you want to “substantially transform America” and secure your legacy,. Immigration reform is the place to start. A US immigration policy that allows people a chance to move here legally can do great good in the world at a very low cost to Americans, and only you, Mr. President, can make it happen.