Obama’s challenge is to ensure that Hispanics pledge allegiance to the Democratic Party for the 2010 elections and keep supporting him through his own likely 2012 re-election race while he tackles the divisive issue of repairing the nation’s patchy immigration system.

With the 2010 election year looming, Democrat Barack Obama in the White House and increasing numbers of Asian-American and Pacific Islanders in Congress, many groups, including the NAACP, are working harder in the traditionally Latino-led movement, sensing a fresh opportunity to overhaul laws affecting millions of immigrants, both legal and illegal.

The only other explanation for Dobbs’ eye-opening reversal on comprehensive immigration reform is that the “fiercely independent” talk-show host is one of the greatest hypocrites the universe has ever known.

To hard-line opponents of legalization, illegal immigrants are irredeemable lawbreakers by definition, and the only thing they should be waiting for is deportation. The administration’s job, as it works on a long-overdue reform bill next year, is to resist that view. So it was disheartening to hear Janet Napolitano, the homeland security secretary, boast recently about identifying “more than 111,000 criminal aliens” through a jailhouse fingerprinting program called Secure Communities.

We know that immigrant workers are a crucial, though often invisible, part of the American workforce. However, as we sit down to pumpkin pies with whipped cream on top this week, it’s important to remember just how many American businesses –dairy farming firmly among them — rely on immigrants to run.

This Thanksgiving week, as end-of-year celebrations commence, faith groups across the country stress the moral urgency of immigration reform. These groups have played an important role in the immigration debate, although the process has not been without controversy.

Looks like a group of Republicans are seeking to impose a litmus test on candidates seeking party support. We think it’s time for the Republican Party to ask themselves which America they want to live in: the “shining city on a hill” or the electrified livestock pen, with the $300 billion price tag.

This week, news reports indicated that a group of Republicans may propose a resolution to the Republican National Committee that would impose a litmus test on candidates seeking party support. Entitled “Resolution on Reagan’s Unity Principle for Support of Candidates,” the ten question test includes such conservative standards as requiring support for smaller government and lower taxes. But the immigration plank raises an interesting, if inconvenient, question for the resolution’s authors: would Ronald Reagan have passed this litmus test? According to the resolution, real Republicans support “legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants.”

Lou Dobbs, who has told interviewers he’s exploring a run for political office in 2012, is reaching out to Latino groups after years of clashing with them over immigration and other issues.
But he is likely to find the reception more chilly than he’d like.

His live, 30-minute appearance Friday night on Al Rojo Vivo, a popular show on the Spanish-language network Telemundo was barely noticed in the mainstream press. But in it, Dobbs made some stunning comments, including an apparent embrace of legalizing millions of illegal immigrants he has portrayed for years as criminal invaders.