Update (1:05 EST): President Obama will now be showing up at the grassroots meeting at 1pm.
Update (12:45 EST): The grassroots meeting is at 1pm EST not 12:30 pm, as originally reported. The 3pm meeting with Schumer and Graham had originally been scheduled for Monday evening.
While pundits have been busy pronouncing immigration reform dead, today the White House is busy hosting– not one– but three meetings on immigration in response to the increasing volume of grassroots pressure to see progress on the President’s promise to overhaul our dysfunctional immigration system.
At 1:00 pm EST, White House leaders will meet with grassroots leaders, including representatives from the faith community, local coalitions, and labor. They will meet with senior White House staff, while Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) will meet with President Obama at 3 p.m. to discuss the senators’ efforts to develop bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform legislation.
The Hill is also reporting that the Congressional Hispanic Caucus is meeting with the President today to discuss health care and immigration:
One Hispanic House Democrat described Thursday’s meeting with Obama as “critical to him fully understanding our thinking, our understanding his, and all of us figuring out how we go forward on both this healthcare bill and immigration reform as a whole.”
What advocates are asking is whether these meetings will lead to concrete action– in advance of the culmination of these grassroots efforts in the March 21st “March for America.” On March 21st, tens of thousands of Americans will stand up to demand prompt action on comprehensive immigration reform and a fairer economy for all workers. It seems this increased activity and frustration is being heard.
NCLR’s Clarissa Martinez has argued that the White House meeting must be followed by “a clear, bipartisan proposal and a firm timeline for Senate action.” She argues:
Anything less will be regarded as more stalling by the tens of thousands coming to DC to march in two weeks.