President Obama stepped up to the podium this week to address the largest and most powerful annual gathering of Chicano/Latinos and he was smiling. It was at the same NCLR annual conference that in 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama, made one of the most stirring rebukes of this nation’s immigration enforcement policies.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) told CNN’s Kyra Phillips on Wednesday his arrest outside the White House on Tuesday was “well worth it.” Gutierrez noted that last Thursday, Obama “spoke at the probably oldest and most memorable civil rights organization in the Latino community here in the United States, National Council of La Raza.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) told CNN’s Kyra Phillips on Wednesday his arrest outside the White House on Tuesday was “well worth it.” Gutierrez noted that last Thursday, Obama “spoke at the probably oldest and most memorable civil rights organization in the Latino community here in the United States, National Council of La Raza.

“Yes, you can! Yes, you can!”

Those were the words that were chanted at the NCLR conference as Obama said that he couldn’t just bypass Congress and change the laws on his own. The truth is that he actually can. Clearly, he’s not getting the message that on immigration, some bold, executive action is desperately needed.

On July 7, National Public Radio (NPR) welcomed on Mark Krikorian, head of anti-immigrant group Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), to discuss Jose Antonio Vargas, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who recently went public with his undocumented status.

At the beginning of this year’s NCLR conference (that just concluded yesterday), attendees were asked what issues matter most to them and how well they think President Obama has been addressing them. The straw poll’s results hammer at the point that poll after poll after poll have shown that immigration is the most important issue for Latino voters.

President Barack Obama courted the vote-rich Latino community Monday and urged activists to build a national movement to pressure Republicans to overhaul the nation’s broken immigration laws.

President Obama spoke briefly on Monday with a woman who is becoming a symbol of the effort to stop deportations of young illegal immigrants. Mercedes Gonzalez said in an interview that the president told her: “Everything is going to be fine. You’re going to be OK.”

Representative Luis V. Gutierrez, a Democrat from Illinois who has become a perennial thorn on immigration for President Obama, was arrested Tuesday afternoon along with about a dozen activists in a protest outside the White House.

Yesterday, Rep. Lamar Smith held a hearing on the Hinder the Administration’s Legalization Temptation (HALT) Act. This is the legislation designed to bully Obama into not using his discretion to prevent deportations. Smith wanted Senator David Vitter as his expert witness on prosecutorial discretion. That backfired.