Obama Visit to Texas Proves He's Serious About Immigration, Aides Say

President Obama is visiting Texas today, and will speak in El Paso about immigration reform. According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, Obama will use the visit to talk about meaningful immigration reform — an uphill battle. Here are excerpts from the article:

 

President Barack Obama will use Tuesday’s visit to the Texas-Mexico border to put pressure on Congress to enact a new immigration policy.

But he’ll have a hard time convincing critics that the border is secure enough, or that his vision of change — which includes some path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants — doesn’t amount to “amnesty” for lawbreakers.

After seeing Obama mostly set aside immigration until now, even some allies are skeptical about his commitment, though aides insisted he’ll keep pushing until it gets done.

“This is an important part of the campaign to build public awareness and public support,” White Housespokesman Jay Carney said Monday, adding that the president’s speech in El Paso on Tuesday is meant to “generate some pressure on Congress to take action. … We are congenital optimists here.”

Obama believes enough progress has been made on security since the last serious effort to overhaul immigration law, four years ago, that it’s time to try again, aides said.

“This border is as secure as it has ever been,” said a senior administration aide, briefing reporters ahead of the trip on condition of anonymity. Obama is making his first tour of the border as president, and the official said he wanted to see the progress after “the most sustained and serious action securing our Southwest border ever in our nation’s history.”

He has previously called for a new guest worker program, and for creating a path to eventual citizenship for the estimated 12 million people who overstayed visas or entered the country without permission.

Some immigration advocates expressed cautious optimism that Obama is serious — and not simply courting the Hispanic vote as thoughts turn to re-election.

“It’s never too late to do the right thing, and immigration reform is the right thing,” said Louie Gilot, executive director of Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center in El Paso. “If immigration is back on the table, it will take a lot of leadership to push this through Congress. I hope President Obama is up to the task.”

“I hope he can address the situation in Mexico which is bringing in newcomers,” both legal and illegal, Gilot said. “I want to hear that we have a plan in our country to help our neighbors.”

Obama aides ticked off signs of the progress and commitment to security.

For instance, there are now 20,700 Border Patrol agents, more than double the number since 2004 — though Republicans on Monday accused the administration of trying to take credit for a surge that started before he took office. And the number of intelligence analysts working on border security has tripled.

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Mexican Imports - May 20, 2011 11:22 AM

We all know he is serious about immigration reform...the question is: What took so long to get serious about it?

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