Obama administration representatives hear from people upset about the region's grim economy and the failure to change the U.S. immigration system.Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times
November 6, 2011
Obama administration officials ventured to the Inland Empire on Saturday for a policy summit with Latinos, getting an earful from residents stung by the region's flattened economy and critical of Washington's failure to reform the nation's immigration system.
The daylong meeting at UC Riverside, one of a series that have been held across the country, included free-flowing policy bull sessions and presentations by White House representatives touting President Obama's proposed jobs bills and record on healthcare, education funding and immigration.
The crowd filled a cavernous auditorium and included Latino activists, business owners, teachers and other residents — most of whom said they came to be heard rather than listen to speeches.
The economic wounds from the recession remain raw in a region where fortunes plummeted with the crash of the housing market and construction industry. Once a haven for Latino immigrants looking for housing construction jobs, unemployment now hovers around 14% in San Bernardino County and 13% in Riverside County...MORE