|President Obama Meets With Members of Congress|
|Advocacy - Border & Immigration Reform|
|Thursday, June 25 2009 17:10|
On June 25th, President Obama convened a bipartisan meeting with members of Congress on immigration reform. The President, in his remarks after the meeting, said his administration "is fully behind an effort to achieve comprehensive immigration reform," which includes an "effective way to recognize and legalize the status of undocumented workers who are here."
DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, and former Arizona Governor, was assigned to lead a working group, to meet with leaders in the House and the Senate to start "systematically working through" the various issues making up the elements of reform.
The meeting with the President did not get in to details about the timeline—debate on legislation should begin later this year or early next year, with both the House and the Senate working on the bill at the same time; it was more about the politics, and the need for both parties to work on this together. To achieve this, members of Congress with a broad range of views participated in the meeting, including very outspoken members in support of comprehensive reform, such as Sen. Robert Menendez and Rep. Luis Gutierrez, as well as vocal opponents, such as Sen. Jeff Sessions and Rep. Lamar Smith (who nevertheless are their party's ranking members in the Judiciary Committees of the Senate and House).
Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Zoe Lofgren were also in the room. These two are the Chairs of the immigration subcommittees in the House and Senate, and the legislative debate will start, when it does, in those subcommittees. In a recent conference, Sen. Schumer stated that if he did not believe immigration reform could be accomplished this year, he would never have chosen to lead the immigration subcommittee.
A complete list of meeting attendees can be found here:
The full remarks by the President can be found here: