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La Opinión on Obama’s Immigration Meeting:  We Need “More than just meetings”

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On April 21st, the editorial page of La Opinión offered its take on President Obama’s latest meeting on immigration reform. La Opinión is the country’s leading Spanish-language newspaper, and is widely read by Spanish-speaking voters across the country. Like many of us, the editorial wants to see action from the Obama Administration, and not just talk. The editorial also takes note of the political implications for the President because of the “general feeling of frustration” among Latinos:

What does this mean? How will it change the current situation?

Little or not at all. Several Republican lawmakers participating in a legislative hearing reiterated that for them, any regularization of the legal status of undocumented immigrants equals an amnesty they strongly oppose. The ludicrous idea of deporting the undocumented as a solution to unemployment was also repeated in that forum. In short, apparently nothing close to comprehensive reform can be expected from the House of Representatives. For them, the immigration issue is the never-ending story of border security and reviving workplace raids.

The outlook isn’t promising, and Obama is not to blame. We believe the president is being sincere about wanting comprehensive immigration reform. However, the political reality led him to choose a path that takes this issue off the list of priorities. In this case, Obama is responsible for selecting this strategy.

The immigration issue was essential for Obama to gain the backing of Latinos during the last election. Now he must do something to overcome a general feeling of frustration. We’ll have to see whether the president issues an executive order, or if he emphasizes the need for comprehensive immigration reform after reinforcing the border like he has and increasing deportations. What is certain is that more needs to be done than just holding periodic meetings at the White House with immigration reform stakeholders.