In some circles, it would be said that this was a good month for immigration advocates. Around the halls of Congress and in news reports nationwide, officials have boldly and loudly announced support for immigration reform and for pursuing it this year. From President Barack Obama to Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid and Sen. Charles Schumer, chairman of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on immigration , each has announced intentions to pursue comprehensive immigration reform legislation this year. That is welcome news for advocates who are holding the president to his campaign promise to address immigration reform within his first year.
CLINIC's Board Chairman Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento in a call with National Immigration Forum and in a statement after the president’s meeting made clear the importance of immigration reform now rather than later: "Thousands of families are suffering and our economy is handicapped by the failures of outdated immigration laws and misguided enforcement policies. Immigration reform is urgent and necessary. To delay immigration reform would be a mistake. It would unfairly prolong the suffering of so many, further undermine our economy and risk security of the nation.
Senator Schumer at the 6th Annual Law and Policy Conference sponsored by CLINIC, the Migration Policy Institute, and GeorgetownLawCenter outlined what he considers the seven principles of immigration reform. While admittedly all seven principles do not align perfectly with the needs of immigration advocates, most would agree that the outlined principles are very good first step. After all, we must start somewhere and we want that conversation to start this year. Meanwhile, we anxiously wait to hear more about these principles and details on comprehensive immigration legislation.