News and views from the award-winning author of the Class H Trilogy: AMERICA LIBRE, HOUSE DIVIDED and PANCHO LAND

Monday, November 24, 2008

Our new president must tackle immigration reform

During the campaign, president-elect Obama promised to initiate legislation for comprehensive immigration reform in the first 100 days of his administration. Like most presidents, Mr. Obama will come into office with considerable political capital during the proverbial "honeymoon" period with congress and the media. However, the economy has already become Mr. Obama's primary public focus.

No sensible person would argue our faltering economy is not a vital issue. But if those of us committed to immigration reform sit idly and let our new president expend his political capital exclusively on the economy, what will he have left for immigration reform?

We need to hold Mr. Obama to his pledge. Otherwise, immigration reform will once again languish on the back burner. It will take a considerable political effort to overcome the hyperactive nativist fringe who vehemently opposes immigration reform. A president weakened in the polls and beholden to many in congress will not be able to push the legislation past the amnesty chorus.

I urge you to make your voice heard.

Raul Ramos y Sanchez