Organizations whose survival relies on the idea that comprehensive immigration reform is not dead or on the rise of the Democratic party machine, will take a speech like yesterday’s and spin it into a positive, over and over again. I understand that and in some ways you have to respect that tenacity.
The Center for American Progress lavished the strongest praise on the President:
President Barack Obama boldly showed today that he is neither giving up on immigration reform nor giving in to restrictionist measures like the one Arizona recently enacted.
The president demonstrated great courage and conviction as he reasserted that the only solution to repairing our broken immigration system is one enacted by the federal government that is tough, practical, and fair.
In an email sent out, SEIU took the president’s call to get Republicans moving on a bill seriously:
In his first major address on immigration reform this morning, President Obama rolled up his sleeves and called on Republicans again to work with him on fixing our broken immigration system.
Still, Republicans have refused to cross the aisle and work with him to deliver the comprehensive immigration reform that a vast majority of Americans want.
So we’re asking all our members and supporters to call on the Republicans in the Senate to join the President by working together to fix our broken immigration system.
Click here to call a Republican Senator: http://action.seiu.org/letsgettowork
Reform Immigration FOR America, took the same approach, shifting any blame from the president or his party and focusing on Republican legislative inaction.
The National Council of la Raza wasn’t as laudatory as it tends to be everytime Obama makes a speech. Their press release post-speech concluded:
“America needs an answer. Comprehensive immigration reform is the solution, and the time to act is now. Politicians who stand in the way or sit on the sidelines will be held accountable on Election Day,” concluded Murguía.
I wonder if that was meant to mean the President as well?
Not all organizations did their usual song and dance though.
America’s Voice did welcome the attention that Obama’s speech brought to the issue of immigration reform but made a demand different from all the other organizations. That demand is that the DREAM Act be passed as a standalone bill this summer.
El Diario/La Prensa, pretty much echoed much of what I tweeted and wrote here yesterday.
No one can deny that President Barack Obama is a master of oratory. In that regard, his speech yesterday on immigration would have made a superb university lecture on the history of immigration in the United States, imparted at his alma mater of Harvard. Eloquently constructed, the speech was reasonable in all its parts, but incapable of changing the reality of an immigration system that does nothing for the country, much less immigrants.
Unfortunately, he failed to mention concrete measures, define timelines or at least propose a more solid approach for alleviating the very real fear faced by immigrant communities. His speech thus sounded a bit empty: a handful of good intentions and calls to set party politics aside, which we all know will fall on deaf ears.
The blog of the American Prospect, who linked to us said:
The speech was, in other words, more about politics than about policy. Consider how he highlighted his administration’s increase in border personnel. This strategy has been advocated by some immigrant-rights supporters: Be tough on enforcement to cudgel Republicans into supporting comprehensive reform. As I have argued in the past, the danger is that it paints economically desperate people as criminals, making comprehensive immigration reform less likely.
Speaking to my vecinos on the playground last night, I couldn’t find anyone in the immigrant community that was moved. There was a sense of appreciation that the issue was raised by the president and pushed into the mainstream media light for a brief moment, but was there any hope that soon there would be a bill? Not really.
So VivirLatino famili@, did you watch the speech yesterday? How do you feel about it? Did it make you hopeful for the future of immigration reform?