Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- President Barack Obama and his administration want to see comprehensive reform of the nation's immigration system "happen sooner than later," according to a Catholic immigration advocate.
"I would be surprised if this wasn't taken care of by the end of 2010," said Mark Franken, executive director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., known as CLINIC. Franken, who made the comments in an interview with Catholic News Service, was part of a group of immigrant advocates, faith leaders, and labor, business and law enforcement officials who met in a closed-door meeting on immigration in Washington Aug. 20.
The meeting was the first in a series of conversations aimed at getting input from those who have a stake in the issue, according to Franken. Representatives from the White House and the Department of Homeland Security participated in the discussion hosted by Secretary Janet Napolitano. Obama arrived at the end of the meeting to reiterate many of Napolitano's points, including the need for increased efforts to push immigration reform. Franken told CNS the meeting demonstrated the president's commitment to the issue as well the administration's need to hear from constituents and people who are educated about reform.