Obama smartly and forceably avoids getting sucked into the immigration sinkhole.
With illegal immigration declining and legal immigration holding steady, this is hardly a pressing issue. Companies aren’t exactly clamoring for foreign workers with unemployment in the double digits in much of the country. Many of those jobs Americans supposedly wouldn’t do wound up involving building houses America didn’t need.
From the Associated Press:
President Barack Obama says immigration reform is important but says other priorities such as his health care overhaul and financial regulation are going to come first.
Obama said on Monday that he expects to see draft legislation for immigration overhaul by the end of the year. He says he doesn’t expect to be able to snap his fingers and change the politically charged immigration system.
Obama expects a fight regardless of his standing in the polls and declares that he is ready for a fight. He says the system is broken and nobody can deny it.
He says, however, that changing the immigration system is going to have to wait until next year while he focuses on other priorities.
It seems that following the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, Obama felt his position with hispanic voters is strong enough that he could afford reject the demands for reform from the Latino political elite. And this is a very smart move, since many of those demands run contrary to the interests of other parts of the Obama coalition. The last thing Obama wants now is a big fight over immigration that could risk alienating the voters he needs for healthcare reform.
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