After a strong coordinated effort this week, led by Dream and SEIU, to allow Walter Lara to stay in this country, we’ve scored an important victory. Walter was granted a one-year stay of deportation today. The 23-year-old honor student will now get to spend this Fourth of July watching fireworks with his family in Florida instead of waiting to be deported to a country he’s never known. Congratulations to everyone who worked to make this happen!

Guest Blogger Nezua: “After postponing twice, President Obama finally met with a bipartisan group of lawmakers on June 25 to discuss moving immigration reform legislation forward. The meeting was applauded by activists and advocates for immigration reform, as the issue seemed to have stalled, and the acrimonious tone of the debate has proven deadly. All parties emerged from the meeting with positive feelings about the prospect for progress, as I heard on last Friday’s White House debriefing conference call.”

“There is no greater case in recent memory that so accurately demonstrates the absurdity and injustice of our broken immigration system than the case of Walter Lara, a youth who’s family traveled to the United States when he was just three years old. Walter earned a 4.7 GPA in high school and later graduated from Miami-Dade Honors College in 2007, where he went on to pursue a career in computer technology.”

Yesterday we were happy to note that the Minnesota Supreme Court ended an 8-month epic legal dispute to determine who would represent the great state of Minnesota in the United States Senate. We were even happier to note that the newest member of the Senate and the Senate Judiciary Committee, often responsible for deciding immigration matters, appears to take a common-sense approach to the frequently-demagogued issue.

Earlier this year, we reported that, in light of changing demographics, the Boy Scouts of America is spending more and more marketing dollars to recruit Latino youth, understanding that Latinos:

[A]re projected to make up one quarter of the nation’s population by 2050.

And this week confirms that the organization is hoping to recruit more Hispanic members, even making the process easier by hiring bilingual recruiters and not requiring social security numbers or identification cards to join…

“The welcoming approach has resonated with immigrant parents”

The irony here is that a recent New York Times article reports that the same Boy Scouts of America is now training young scouts to hunt down and arrest “illegals”

Think Progress’ Wonk Room blogger Andrea Nill found this clip of Mark Krikorian (of Keith Olbermann Worst Person in the World fame) trying to pin the problems with our healthcare system, including our “uninsured crisis” on immigrants. Big surprise there. Mark Krikorian is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a restrictionist “think tank” that plays prominently within the network of anti-immigrant organizations beholden to John Tanton, a man with clear ties to white nationalism.

“The meeting was more encouraging than that. It led to a persuasive show of unity among Republicans and Democrats. Both sides made the case for getting a comprehensive reform bill written and passed this year, or early next. Mr. Obama announced that the homeland security secretary, Janet Napolitano, would lead a working group of both parties and houses of Congress to do that.”

Yesterday, 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.”

Weekly feature by Nezua, TMC MediaWire Blogger: “President Obama has often stated that immigration reform cannot be approached in a piecemeal fashion, and that his administration would tackle the issue in 2009. This week, Obama will be meeting with members of Congress to kick off a bi-partisan approach to reform. These meetings don’t guarantee any legislative action will take place this year, but are at least an encouraging sign.”

THE PRESIDENT: “Hello, everybody. We have just finished what I consider to be a very productive meeting on one of the most critical issues that I think this nation faces, and that is an immigration system that is broken and needs fixing. We have members of Congress from both chambers, from parties, who have participated in the meeting and shared a range of ideas. I think the consensus is that despite our inability to get this passed over the last several years, the American people still want to see a solution in which we are tightening up our borders, or cracking down on employers who are using illegal workers in order to drive down wages — and oftentimes mistreat those workers. And we need a effective way to recognize and legalize the status of undocumented workers who are here.”