Immigration Reform 2011? – U.S. President Barack Obama has made it clear that the next thing on his agenda is immigration reform. The topic has always been a controversial one, but has been even more controversial in recent weeks after Arizona passed a bill that allowed police to ask for immigration documentation from individuals that they deemed ‘suspicious.’ Opposition to the bill has stated that they believe that the bill leaves too much room for racial profiling, and that other restrictions need to be put into place if the legislation is to be successful.
Obama said on Wednesday that he would like to begin work this year on legislation overhauling the federal immigration system. It may be a coincidence that his comments came on Cinco de Mayo, of all holidays. However, they reaffirmed the notion that the White House is willing to work on a long term solution for a problem that has gone on for far too long. Latino groups have called for Obama to deliver on his campaign promise of making immigration reform in the United States a top priority. Some went as far as to say that he simply was not doing enough.
Obama recently stated that “there may not be an appetite” in Congress to debate another highly controversial issue just after health care and financial regulation legislation was recently passed by Congress. The midterm elections that are scheduled for this upcoming November may also hinder the ability to reach a decision on the subject, as candidates are gearing up to please their largest supporters one last time before the upcoming election.
It is not clear when the discussion will begin, or who will head the discussion, but it does appear that Obama would be interested in working on immigration reform throughout his second year in office.