Immigration Reform After the Elections: Is There Movement? YES!!
Nov 15, 2012 by M. Daniel Carroll R. | 0 Comments
Before the election, among those who are working for immigration reform, there was little hope that things might get done any time soon. On the one hand, the feeling was that President Obama might just continue his rhetoric and keep extending simply gestures to undocumented immigrants (like the Deferred Action memorandum) without working on formal legislation, even as the administration kept up its record-breaking deportation policy. On the other hand, many Republicans were maintaining their anti-immigrant attitudes, although there seemed to be some softening of this stance behind the scenes. Would a Republican administration do anything to help the situation of immigrants in this country? Was there actually any way forward through either party?
Something startling happening, however, in the election. Many were surprised at the impact of the Hispanic vote. At first, with the Obama victory there appeared there might be a greater chance for change than with the other party, but what happened next was not expected. Many Republicans now recognized as never before the importance of Hispanics for the future of this country (and of the party!) and were now interested in talking seriously about immigration.
What we have witnessed in the days since the election is a buzz on the Hill to get something done on immigration in the very near future. Because of this, the Evangelical Immigration Table called a national press conference via a telephone conference call on Tuesday, November 13th. I was privileged to participate in this conference call as the national spokesperson on immigration for the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, and as someone working at the local level. Others on the call were Leith Anderson (head of the NAE, the National Association of Evangelicals), Jim Wallis (head of Sojourners), Barrett Duke (Vice President for Public Policy and Research, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention), and Gabriel Salguero (head of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition).
The conference call announced a letter to be sent to the President, and heads of the Senate and the House of Representatives. You can read the letter at the website of the Evangelical Immigration Table at www.evangelicalimmigrationtable.com. The audio is available, although I do not know how long this will be posted. Go to: http://soundcloud.com/sojourners/evangelical-immigration-table
This is an important step forward and an encouraging development!