CaribWorldNews, WASHINGTON, D.C., Thurs. April 30, 2009: Critics of immigration reform may claim the high unemployment rate is no time to address this issue but President Barack Obama insists the hot button topic is high on his agenda for the next 100 days.
Obama reiterated the campaign promise during a nation-wide press conference on his 100th day in office Wednesday. The President, who has taken flak from conservative right wingers who say immigration reform will hand American jobs to immigrants, reiterated that he wants to work with members of Congress, including former Republican presidential rival Sen. John McCain, to revive efforts at immigration reform.
`We want to move this process,` Obama said. `We can’t continue with a broken immigration system. It’s not good for anybody.`
The President said he hopes a working group of lawmakers will begin crafting details of reform legislation within the year. He insisted: `It’s dangerous for Mexican would-be workers who are trying to cross a dangerous border. It is putting a strain on border communities … And it keeps those undocumented workers in the shadows, which means they can be exploited at the same time as they’re depressing U.S. wages.`
But he also said his administration will look to tighten the border and going after companies who hire undocumented workers.
Obama like former President George Bush supports a plan of earned legalization, that would allow the more than 8 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. to be put on a path to getting a green card if they pay a fine and back taxes, learn English and prove they’ve been moral residents of the U.S. and never committed crimes.
Some four percent of the total undocumented migrant population is from the Caribbean, according to the Pew Center for Hispanic Research. – By CWNN Staffer