The Big Question for April 15: Immigration

The Big Question is a feature where influential lawmakers, pundits and interest group leaders give their answers to a question that’s driving discussion in news circles around the country.

Some responses are gathered via e-mail, while others are gathered in person via tape recorder.

Today's Big Question is:
Will the Obama administration get it right on immigration reform?

Read responses below from the AFL-CIO, the Hudson Institute, Judicial Watch, New Democrat Network, and Larry Sabato.

Read the last Big Question here.

John Sweeney, President of AFL-CIO, said:
The Obama Administration understands that our nation's broken immigration system isn't working for anybody. It’s not working for immigrant workers who are routinely exploited by companies and it’s not working for U.S. born workers whose living standards are being undermined by the creation of a new "underclass." This system has allowed unscrupulous employers to exploit today’s underground economy to drive down wages and working conditions for all workers and create an unfair advantage over reputable employers. Read the full response here.

Larry Sabato, Director of the Center for Politics, said:
It depends on what you mean by “right”. The Obama policy may or may not work, may or may not be the right answer. I’ll leave that to the immigration specialists. But given the crowded agenda, it will surprise no one if immigration reform doesn’t happen in 2009. That leads to the second definition of “right”. Read the full response here.

Herbert London, President of the Hudston Institute, said:
It appears that the Obama administration is committed to amnesty for illegal aliens. This position did not fly with Bush and it will not be well received in the Congress despite the Democratic majority. Read the full response here.

Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch, said:
The Obama administration seems set to push the same unpopular amnesty proposals that helped ruin President Bush’s second term. Even worse, Obama’s DHS stopped work site enforcement and even allowed some illegals caught in prior raids, in a de facto amnesty, to return to work. Obama’s allies in Congress and elsewhere have also launched a coordinated attack on 287(g), the successful federal-local partnership program that allows local police to more effectively enforce immigration law. In response to calls from leftist interest groups and leftists in Congress, the Obama Justice Department also launched a “civil rights” investigation into Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio over his implementation of 287(g). So with a drug-fueled civil war creeping across our border from Mexico – Obama’s appointees are harassing one of the few effective lawmen on the front lines! Read the full response here.

Simon Rosenberg, President of New Democrat Network, said:
Over the past few days there have been signs, hopeful signs, that Washington just might take up immigration reform this fall.  NDN recently released a report, Making the Case for Passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform This Year, which succinctly lays out our case for why we should move this year.  Let me review a couple of the key observations - ones that are new to the debate this year...Read the full response here.

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