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Read about what's happening THIS WEEK IN IMMIGRATION :)
Immigrant Homebuyers Play Crucial Role in Housing Market Revival
Earlier this week, the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University released a new housing report which provides a rather grim analysis of the current housing crisis. Real home prices continue to fall and foreclosures continue to mount despite recent federal interventions. Because of job losses, decreased home prices, and tougher credit eligibility requirements, homebuyers are finding it more and more difficult to purchase homes. But, as the report notes, immigrants could be a key element to recovery.
President Obama Lights Torch for Common Sense Immigration Reform
On Thursday, the President, Vice President, and key cabinet members met with a bipartisan group of Senate and House leaders on immigration reform in a closed-door meeting at the White House. The White House characterized the meeting as the "launch" of a policy conversation and "an honest discussion about the issues." True to "Yes We Can" form, President Obama's no-nonsense remarks after the meeting indicated that the time for inflammatory rhetoric is over and the time for genuine dialogue is now.
Students Storm Capitol Hill for National DREAM Act Graduation Day
On Tuesday, more than 500 students from across the country gathered in Washington, DC, to take part in the National DREAM Act Graduation Ceremony. Although only a symbolic ceremony, students from different countries and backgrounds stood as one in an effort to push Congress to pass the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act), which remains another important step in the broader fight for comprehensive immigration reform.
President Obama to Chart Course for Comprehensive Immigration Reform
President Obama and a bipartisan group of Congressional leaders are expected to convene at the White House to draft a roadmap for moving forward with Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2009. Despite Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' dismal legislative voter forecast for moving forward this year, President Obama has continually reaffirmed his commitment to a "fair, practical and promising way forward" for immigration reform.
PASS ID Act Not An Immigration Solution
Introduced by Sen. Akaka (D-HI) last week with 5 co-sponsors, the "Providing for Additional Security in States' Identification Act" (PASS ID) (S. 1261) would give states a breather from the costs and restrictions imposed by the REAL ID Act, which became law in 2005 without Congressional hearings and as part of must-pass war funding bill. The PASS ID Act, however, would do little for immigrant access to licenses and nothing for a common sense approach to immigration reform.
Pots, Kettles and the Restrictionist Movement
At a c-o-n-f-e-r-e-n-c-e hosted by Pat Buchanan and the American Cause this weekend, America's best and brightest conservative strategists discussed how Republicans could regain a majority in America. Peter Brimelow, owner of the anti-immigrant website VDare.com, suggested an English-only initiative with the aim of "winning over working class white Democrats." The only problem with this idea is that the word "conference" on the banner hanging over their heads is misspelled: "conferenece."
Faith Leaders Crusade for Immigration Reform
It's no secret that faith and religious leaders have not always seen eye-to-eye with Washington on politically controversial issues-right to life, gay rights, capital punishment, etc. Immigration, however, is not one of those issues. In fact, many interfaith groups have been the most vocal in calling on the new Administration and 111th Congress to "enact humane and equitable immigration reform in 2009."
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