White House Plans Another Immigration Pander (er Meeting)

April 28th, 2011 · 8 Comments

This just in from the White House Press Office today:


Office of the Press Secretary


April 28, 2011

Background on the President’s Meeting with Influential Hispanics from Across the Country on Immigration

Today the President will meet with influential Hispanics from across the country to discuss the importance of fixing the broken immigration system for our nation’s 21st century economic and security needs so that America can win the future. The President will also discuss how we can work together to foster a constructive national conversation on this important issue as we work to build a bipartisan consensus in Congress.

Administration officials expected to attend the meeting include:

Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President
David Plouffe, Senior Advisor to the President

Melody Barnes, Assistant to the President & Director of Domestic Policy Council

Cecilia Munoz, Deputy Assistant to the President & Director of Intergovernmental Affairs

Participants expected at the meeting include:

Jose Diaz-Balart

Barbara Bermudo

Rosario Dawson

Emilio Estefan

Lily Estefan

America Ferrera

Don Francisco

Vanessa Hauc

Maria Teresa Kumar

Eva Longoria

Maria Elena Salinas

Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo

Background on Administration Immigration Policy

President Obama remains deeply committed to fixing the broken immigration system.  The United States has been enriched by a steady stream of hardworking and talented people who have helped make America an engine of the global economy and a beacon of hope around the world.  As we work to rebuild the economy, our ability to thrive depends, in part, on restoring responsibility and accountability to the immigration system.  President Obama believes Democrats and Republicans should come together to tackle an issue that is critical not only to our national security but also to the economy and our global competiveness.

The President has outlined a vision for fixing the broken immigration system through common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform grounded in the principles of responsibility and accountability:

  • Responsibility from the federal government to secure our borders: Today, our borders are more secure than at any time in the past several decades. However, the Administration continues to refine and strengthen its strategy.  Enforcement resources should be increased where appropriate and focused on stopping potential terrorists and others who would do our nation harm.
  • Accountability for businesses that break the law by undermining American workers and exploiting undocumented workers: Employers that break the law by deliberately hiring and exploiting undocumented workers must be held accountable.  At the same time, we must give employers who want to play by the rules a reliable way to verify that their employees are here legally.

  • Responsibility from people who are living in the United States illegally: Those people living here illegally must also be held accountable for getting on the right side of the law, by admitting they broke the law, paying taxes and a penalty, learning English before they can get in line to become legalized and citizens.  Being a citizen of this country comes not only with rights but also with fundamental responsibilities.  We can create a pathway for legal status that is fair, and reflects of our values.
  • Strengthen economic competiveness by creating a legal immigration system that meets our diverse needs: Our immigration laws should encourage high-skilled individuals we train in our world-class institutions of higher education to stay in the United States and create jobs, stop punishing innocent young people for their parents’ actions by denying children the chance to earn an education or join the military so they can earn higher wages and generate more tax revenues, provide farmers a legal way to hire the workers they rely on, and should respect families following the rules.

The President takes seriously his responsibility to enforce our immigration laws and secure the border.  Over the last two years, the Obama Administration has dedicated unprecedented resources to secure the border, taken important steps to make interior and worksite enforcement of our immigration laws smarter, and more effective, and made improvements to the legal immigration system.

  • Dedicating Unprecedented Resources to Secure the Border: Today, there are more “boots on the ground” along the Southwest Border than ever before.  DHS has also deployed thousands of technology assets, including aircraft and Unmanned Aircraft Systems, and completed nearly all fencing.  Last year, Congress answered the President’s call to bolster the federal government’s efforts through the Southwest Border Security Supplemental Bill.  DHS is using these resources to build on their successful efforts to decrease the numbers of illegal aliens who cross the border and increase seizures of illegal currency, drugs, and guns that have led to thousands of criminal arrests and prosecutions.
  • Making our Interior and Worksite Enforcement Efforts Smarter and More Strategic: The Administration has laid out new enforcement strategies targeted at removing immigrants convicted of serious crimes and unscrupulous employers who seek to exploit both immigrant and American workers.  These new strategies are having real results with deportations of criminal immigrants significantly increasing and auditing and fines against employers who are not in compliance with immigration laws in FY 2010. DHS has also invested in implementing important reforms to the detention system, enhancing the security and efficiency of the detention system while prioritizing the health and safety of detainees.
  • Improving our Legal Immigration System: The Administration is improving processing times and clearing backlogs of pending immigration applications, including fully eliminating the FBI National Name Check Program’s backlog.  DHS is also working to ensure that naturalization is accessible to all qualified legal immigrants.  Since January 2009, DHS has worked with the Armed Forces to naturalize 14,000 military personnel.  DHS is also devoting critical funding to support citizenship preparation and integration programs in communities throughout the country.

Our efforts have been enormously successful, but we need comprehensive reform that demands responsibility and accountability from the government, businesses, and immigrants themselves.”

This is almost becoming a joke because Eva Longoria, Don Francisco, the Estefans, Rosario Dawson and America Ferrera are such great immigration advocates! I know that Piolin has been a voice for immigration reform and in mobilizing people in the 2006 protests, but this is almost comical. Let’s assemble a handful of Latino entertainers to “discuss the importance of fixing the broken immigration system” to make it look like we aren’t deporting DREAMers and setting records for deportations. More change we can believe, right?


Tags: Barack Obama · Immigration

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Emisela // Apr 28, 2011 at 9:13 am

    This us awful! The Latinos invited are not involved in activism AT ALL. Most of them are Cuban, so they don’t have a real vested interest in a reform. This meeting is more of a social “Univision” luncheon. I’m very disappointed.

  • 2 Ramon // Apr 28, 2011 at 9:13 am

    I only recognized some of these individuals. With all due respect, why are they considered “influential hispanics” in regards to immigration? There is only one elected official but no labor leaders (Maria Durazo), Chicano political officials, academics, or representatives from grass-roots immigration advocacy groups

  • 3 Anna // Apr 28, 2011 at 10:20 am

    You’re right. They’re not influential in terms of having an effect on public policy. Obama just wants these people to get out the vote among Latinos by pretending that immigration reform is on the agenda. It’s so manipulative.

  • 4 Anna // Apr 28, 2011 at 10:27 am

    It’s also funny who the White House considers “influential.” I don’t care what these people have to say about anything. Do they really think I would base my vote on what these people say? What a joke the White House is!

  • 5 Chicano future tense // Apr 28, 2011 at 11:12 am

    The name of this meeting should be called for what it really is.. “re-elect Obama in 2012″.

    Obama,the DNC and the Democratic party establishment are up to their old tricks again-luring the Latino vote with even more phony lies and false promises.

    I predict,Obama and co. with a little help from the Latino “useful” idiots present at this joke of a meeting,will once again be very succesful in co-opting the Latino vote in 2012.

    I find it highly ironic,now that Obama the “community organizer” is POTUS sees fit to ignore Latino “communiity organizers”,grass roots,movement activists and leaders when dealing with the Immigration as well as other important Latino issues.

    Instead of meeting with Latino “Community organizers” they decided to pull together a meeting with popular Media personalities and celebrities of one kind or another.

    The Obama strategy is transparent-They will rely on popular Latino personalities-“useful idiots”- because of their incredibly wide,broad exposure and appeal-influence on the Latino community.

    Unfortunately,it is a fact of life that Latinos are relatively unsophisticated and have not yet developed higher levels of political critical thinking.Obama and co. understand this and that Latino celebrities and personalities do in fact have heavy influence on the Latino community through TV, popular Media culture.

    They are considered influential Latinos precisely because they have INFLUENCE.
    Not mainly because they are the true representatives of the Latino people and their interests.

    The re-elect Obama campaign is preparing for election 2012,oiling and re-calibrating the gears and mechanisms of the Democratic Party machine.

    Seeing the stranglehold of their lies and deception over Latinos being incrementally diminished,exposed-with greater numbers of Latinos developing a healthy doubt and suspicion of Obama,they will, as election 2012 approaches,find themselves having to more and more rely on influence coming from celebrities and popular cultural personalities.

    Another key component of their Latino re-elect Obama campaign strategy will be in turning out Latino apologists,democratic party operatives,minions and loyalists out in full force.

    Those vocal Latinos who who are critics,doubters,sceptics of Obama’s draconian near fascistic administration immigration policies,who refuse to support Obama re-election in 2012,will be attacked by the Obama,DNC,Democratic Party establishment.

    The establishment powers that be will attempt to isolate,marginalize and discredit Latino critics using the tried and true methods of labelling those who support them as “troublemakers”..“outside agitators”..”extremists”.. “radicals” ..“GOP operatives” etc etc..

    I am under no illusion that it will become exceedingly difficult for Latino critics to effectively counter a Media onslaught coming from establishment,mainstream Latinos.This situation has potential to become a national struggle for the ‘Hearts and Minds” of the Latino people,and that’s what worries the powers that be to a significant degree.

    They are terrifed of an independent critical Latino politcal and social movement operating outside their power and influence,following an independent road leading towards grerater Latino self-determination.

    Most Latino oppposition of Obama draconian immigration policies,to Obama re-election in 2012 will come from the internet and grass roots.

    Thank God for that!

  • 6 acohen // Apr 30, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    There has never been a pro-immigration-reform movement. There has been a pro-immigration-reform-secondarily-to-liberalism movement, but never any reform movement that puts people before politics. The Longorias and Piolins do want reform, but they’re leftists first and quite willing to sacrifice immigrants in order to get their Obamacare and other big government goodies.

    So, don’t hold your breath waiting for immigration reform, but if you do, then remember to exhale when the wide-hipped Lebanese Colombian gets trotted out again to deflect Obama’s unprecedented hatred of immigrant Latinos.

  • 7 Anna // May 2, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Look, it’s already starting:

    An Open Letter to Self-Proclaimed Immigrants’ Champion, Congressman Luis Gutierrez

    by Fernando Espuelas

    Dear Congressman Gutierrez,

    “Are you a secret Republican? Are you now actively engaged in making sure that Obama is a one-term president? Are you trying to destroy any chance for comprehensive immigration reform for the next 10 years?

    Based on your words and actions over the last two years, it sure seems that the answer to all three questions is yes…”

  • 8 Yet another White House Meeting on Immigration // May 3, 2011 at 10:49 am

    […] there is another White House meeting planned to discuss immigration, but this time instead of the celebrity brigade, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus will be meeting with President Obama. Latinos who would like to […]

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