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White House Meets with Congress, Optimistic that Reform Will Move Forward this Year

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mtgYesterday, the White House hosted a meeting of bipartisan lawmakers from both chambers of Congress to begin the conversation of how to move immigration reform forward this year. 

Kos, founder of the progressive blog Daily Kos, reports in “Immigration reform headed for passage this year:”

Both the White House and Senate Democratic leadership have reiterated that they expect to pass meaningful immigration reform this year or early next year.

Think Progress devotes an entire Progress Report to immigration reform today, with the headline: Time For The ‘Heavy Lifting’ To Begin:

At a bipartisan meeting with congressional lawmakers yesterday, President Obama pledged “that he would push for a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s immigration system by early next year.” “It’s going to require some heavy lifting,” Obama said. “It’s going to require a victory of practicality and common sense and good policymaking over short-term politics. That’s what I’m committed to doing as president.”

A video from the WhiteHouse.gov blog spells out some key elements of the plan. Their blog post, Working Together for Immigration Reform, reports:

While Congressional leaders are working to tackle the complexities of immigration reform, the Administration has already taken steps to improve the system. The FBI has cleared much of the backlog of immigration background checks, the Department of Homeland Security is speeding up citizenship petitions and in conjunction with the Department of Labor, they are working to crack down on employers who are exploiting illegal workers.

Here are some activists’ reactions to the that meeting during a telephonic press conference this morning:

“There can be no doubt that the conditions for significant movement on immigration reform this year have become more favorable,” stated Simon Rosenberg, President and Founder of NDN.  “An overwhelming majority of Americans want action taken to fix the broken immigration system now and support the Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislative approach. While the road to passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform will not be an easy one, with strong leadership, progress this year is within Washington’s grasp.”

America’s Voice Executive Director, Frank Sharry, responded:

These results reflect what we have known for years – the American people support immigration reform, and want Congress to provide smart solutions to tough problems. While many in the political class continue to look in the rearview mirror and fail to grasp the policy and political realities that are bringing immigration reform to the fore, the President and Congressional leaders understand the power behind reform.  Yesterday, they took a giant step towards addressing and solving a problem calling out for courageous and deliberative action.