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Washington, DC – Evidence is mounting that comprehensive immigration reform will be a priority in 2009. President-Elect Obama made a campaign promise to move comprehensive reform in his first year, and already established a working group on immigration during the transition period. Immigrant and Latino voters turned out in record numbers in November, voted for Democrats over Republicans in part because of the immigration issue, and have high expectations for the incoming Congress and Administration. Hard-line candidates for the House and Senate lost multiple contests to comprehensive reformers. And recent comments by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, as well as the nominations of Governor Janet Napolitano (D-AZ) to head Obama’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM) to lead the Commerce Department, are also fueling anticipation about the prospects of enacting immigration reform in the next Congress.
On Thursday, December 18, U.S. Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) joined Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, Simon Rosenberg, President and Founder of NDN, and pollster David Mermin, partner of Lake Research Partners, to discuss the chances for enacting comprehensive immigration reform in 2009 and beyond.