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Mr. President, Americans Are Hungry for Immigration Reform

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There’s been a lot of buzz today about President Obama’s comments aboard Air Force One last night, implying that there is no “appetite” to pass real immigration reform this year.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) weighed in this afternoon:

In perhaps her most stern words on immigration thus far, Pelosi put the pressure on the president.

“[A]s I said when President Bush was president and I’ll say it when President Obama is president,” Pelosi said in her weekly news conference. “If there is going to be any movement in this regard, it will require presidential leadership … as well as the willingness to move forward in the Congress.”

Pelosi was responding to a question about Obama’s comments aboard Air Force One Wednesday evening, where he said that he knows “there may not be an appetite immediately to dive into another controversial issue.” Pelosi said she didn’t hear the comments, but still told reporters that the administration must take the lead.

Immigration reform advocates are eager to see clarification from the White House on the Administration’s timetable for moving real immigration reform forward. Especially given the crisis that has errupted around Arizona’s new “show us your papers” immigration law, which the President himself has argued is “misguided” and must be countered with federal action.

To this effect, there will be major grassroots mobilizations across the country this Saturday, May 1st, including escalated calls for the President and Congress to act swiftly to fix our nation’s badly broken immigration laws. These local marches are a follow-up to the major March for America, which drew over 200,000 people to the National Mall on March 21st. At that event, President Obama delivered a firm message promising he’d work on immigration reform “this year.”