posted on May, 11 2009 @ 10:44 AM
Despite his promises to Hispanic groups and his campaign pledges, Obama is now reverting to the immigration policies of Bush and McCain.
On the thorniest of political issues, President Obama has embraced the enforcement-first position on immigration that he criticized during last
year's presidential campaign, and he now says he can't move forward with the type of comprehensive bill he wants until voters are convinced that the
borders can be enforced.
Having already backed off his pledge to have an immigration bill this year, Mr. Obama boosted his commitment to enforcement in the budget released
Thursday. The spending blueprint calls for extra money to build an employee-verification system and to pay for more personnel and equipment to patrol
This is similar to the positions of President George W. Bush, Bush Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Republican presidential candidate
Sen. John McCain.
"If the American people don't feel like you can secure the borders," Mr. Obama said at his press conference last week, "then it's hard to strike
a deal that would get people out of the shadows and on a pathway to citizenship who are already here, because the attitude of the average American is
going to be, 'Well, you're just going to have hundreds of thousands of more coming in each year.' "
Obama, who during the campaign repeatedly called the issue a 'top priority', is uncertain how to move forward.
So far he has kept the support of immigrant rights groups who believe he's still committed to a bill that would legalize most illegal immigrants.
Immigrant rights groups who have been harshly critical of calls for enforcement first.
Last summer Obama said stepped-up enforcement had to be coupled with giving legal status and a path to citizenship
for most illegal
He also told the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials that comprehensive immigration - the term backers use for a law that
includes legalizing illegal immigrants - would be "a priority I will pursue from my very first day."
For a real-world alternative with enforcement AND assimilation:
"Illegal Immigrants, Mexico, and Immigration Reform"