Washington, DC – After grilling Mitt Romney on immigration and other topics yesterday, Univisión’s Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas will interview President Obama later this afternoon. Below are five key immigration questions for the President.
What’s your roadmap to victory on comprehensive immigration reform? In May of 2008 on Univision you said: “I cannot guarantee that it is going to be in the first 100 days. But what I can guarantee is that we will have in the first year an immigration bill that I strongly support and that I’m promoting. And I want to move that forward as quickly as possible.” We know that didn’t happen, for various reasons. In April of this year, also on Univision, you said, “I can promise that I will try to do it in the first year of my second term.” If you are re-elected, can we expect to see a White House proposal for comprehensive immigration reform, or will you wait for Congress to act? And, will you put the same level of energy and engagement into the effort that you used to secure health care reform? How will your approach be different and more successful in a second term?
What other immigration reforms can you do Administratively, if Republican obstructionism continues to block progress on legislative reforms? Your Administration’s documentation program for “DREAMers” was broadly embraced. You used your authority this way because Republicans blocked the DREAM Act in Congress, and the alternative–deporting these young aspiring citizens—goes against your values. If Republicans once again refuse to work with you and help pass immigration reform in Congress, will you use your Administrative powers to make other meaningful changes? Specifically, what additional steps would your administration be prepared to take if legislation fails?
How will you get Republicans like Senator Marco Rubio to work with you? We hear you say that you need Republicans to step up, but there’s been very little willingness on the Republican side of the aisle to tackle this issue. Sen. Rubio was reportedly writing a bill, but it’s never been introduced. How can you get Republicans to stop playing games and work with you on solutions? Will you reach out to Senator Rubio after the elections? Do you see him as a partner to pass the DREAM Act, comprehensive immigration reform, and other immigration policy matters.
Why does the Administration continue to oppose vital reforms to Secure Communities? You have called for immigration enforcement to focus on dangerous criminals, and created the “Secure Communities” program to help facilitate that goal. Yet this program has turned routine police work into immigration status checks and repeatedly sweeps up immigrants with no criminal histories. Under this program, immigrants detained even for minor violations, such as driving without a license, are referred to ICE as “criminals.” When the Governors of Massachusetts, New York and Illinois — and your former Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, now the Mayor of Chicago –sought to limit the program because it is damaging the relationship between police and immigrants, your Administration pushed back. If you get a second term, are you willing to take a fresh look at this flawed program and bring it in line with its stated goals?
With a key provision of Arizona’s anti-immigration law going into effect, how will your Administration respond? While the Supreme Court de-fanged much of Arizona’s SB 1070 law, the “show me your papers” provision now has the green light to go into effect. Your Department of Justice (DOJ) challenged the law and has recognized that implementation will lead to racial profiling. What steps are you putting in place to ensure that federal agents don’t facilitate civil rights abuses in Arizona and similar states?
America’s Voice will be live-tweeting this afternoon’s interview. You can follow along online via the America’s Voice twitter page.
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