No less important than Sean Hannity saying he has “evolved” on immigration and now supports a “pathway to citizenship” is the press conference Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) held today, calling on Congress and President Obama to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
As Udall said in a statement:
America is better and stronger because of its immigrants. The voters sent a clear message on Election Day that we need to renew the promise of the American Dream and make comprehensive immigration reform and the DREAM Act among our top priorities after we get our fiscal house in order. These issues are too important for Colorado businesses and families to languish on the back-burner over the next four years.
Colorado’s Latino vote was influential in this year’s election, breaking 87% to 10% for President Obama over Mitt Romney. Thirty-four percent of these Latino voters cited immigration reform as one of their top priorities for Congress and the President to address, compared to 50% citing the economy and jobs as their top priority.
Senator Udall’s press conference today was particularly significant considering that he has not always been a champion of immigration reform. During the Bush Administration, he supported the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 (also known as the “Sensenbrenner bill, after its sponsor, Republican Senator James Sensenbrenner [WI]), a harsh anti-immigrant bill which would have erected a border fence and made E-Verify mandatory. With Udall adding his voice to the chorus of Democrats, Republicans, and former reform champions newly pushing for immigration legislation, the tide is growing stronger for the issue to be taken up in 2013.
Today, Udall noted that “the president has said that he wants to pass comprehensive immigration reform during his second term. I take him at his word and will do everything I can do make it a reality.”
Glad to have you onboard, Sen. Udall. We look forward to working with you next year.