Target: President Obama
Goal: Ensure President Obama keeps his promise of passing comprehensive immigration reform in 2013.
Advocates and activists are pressuring policy-makers to ensure immigration reform is among one of the first of America’s legislative priorities this year. President Obama promised to pass comprehensive immigration reform in his first term but was burdened by a suffering economy and other difficult legislative tasks such as healthcare reform.
The president has called the failure to pass immigration reform the “biggest failure” of his first term. Although the President passed an important executive order in June 2012, protecting young undocumented people from deportation, it was only one step in a problem that is multifaceted and complex.
According to the White House website, President Obama’s vision for immigration reform includes four components: securing our borders, holding businesses accountable for undermining American workers and exploiting immigrant workers, creating a legal immigration system that reflects our values and diverse needs, and also holding certain responsibilities for immigrants who have been in the US illegally. Much to the dismay of hopeful advocates, Barack Obama deported undocumented workers at an unprecedented pace in his first term—he’s sent over 1.4 million people out of the country in his first.
Some of the problems with our current immigration system that have persisted for decades include overburdened courts, awful conditions in immigrant-detention centers, draconian family-unification policies, and significant administrative delays. There are an estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. A humane way to address these issues is of utmost urgency.
Although in the past immigration reform has stalled due to partisan gridlock and ineffective piecemeal attempts at passing legislation, advocates are hopeful that Obama’s reelection demonstrates a mandate for fixing the broken immigration system.
There has been little arguing that our immigration system is in shambles, the problem has been disagreement surrounding how to address it. Now, with greater numbers in both Houses, and a strong reelection victory, the president has the opportunity and the power to finally push through immigration reform.
Call on President Obama to keep his promise, and to create a more effective, humane and functioning immigration system.
Dear President Obama,
The challenges you face in your second term are all of great importance. Immigration reform, however, can no longer be glossed over. America’s immigrant communities contributed largely to your reelection victory and deserve an answer from you. You have acknowledged the urgency of immigration reform, as have a multitude of other Republican and Democrat policy-makers. The time is now to take action.
Do not make immigration reform the biggest failure of your second term as well. Keep your promise to all Americans and utilize your power to push through comprehensive, multi-faceted immigration reform that values our diverse needs as a country. There is no excuse to not take action. Now is the time to end the gridlock that has stopped meaningful immigration reform and make this reform another legacy of your presidency.
We wish you the best of luck and call on you to find the courage to make immigration reform a reality for the United States now.
[Your Name Here]
photo credit: flickr via Chzz