Harold Meyerson: Still stuck in the shadows
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By Harold Meyerson
Wednesday, Mar 17, 2010
The Washington Post
On Sunday, tens of thousands of Americans who supported Barack Obama's presidential campaign in 2008 will gather on the Mall to protest the president's lack of action on a cause to which he had committed himself throughout the campaign: immigration reform.
As a candidate, Obama spoke eloquently of the need to bring the estimated 11 million immigrants here without documentation "out of the shadows." As president, he stepped up the number of deportations to an all-time high: 298,401 in fiscal 2009, a 13 percent increase over the last year of George W. Bush's presidency. But reforming our ridiculous immigration laws so that the millions of immigrants here illegally could have a path to legalization was deferred, like so many administration commitments, until health-care reform was enacted.
So immigrants and Latinos held their tongues, despite the increase in deportations that wreaked havoc in their communities, in hopes that Year Two of the Obama presidency would be better. They waited until Obama's State of the Union address, in which the president devoted one sentence -- "one paltry sentence," in the words of Rep. Luis Gutierrez, the Chicago Democrat who is the leading advocate for America's immigrants in the House -- to the issue...link to complete article