According to a June 25th press release out of Washington DC, President Obama has indicated that he and his administration aim to change the dynamics and tone of the immigration debate. The President, Vice President Biden, and several crucial cabinet members met with Republicans and Democrats from Congress to discuss immigration reform philosophies and solutions, after which the Obama administration released a statement that described the discussion as the “launch” of a new kind of political approach. The President said that the immigration debate has long been characterized by “overheated rhetoric and demagoguery on all sides” and that he intends to set a more responsible course.
President Obama also announced the formation of a high profile working group to consider the problems associated with immigration. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has been tasked to lead this group and to work with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to arrive at practical, non-ideological solutions. A spokesman for the Immigration Policy Center lauded the President’s refocusing of the debate, saying that “the public should be reassured that we are finally moving forward in a genuine bipartisan fashion on comprehensive immigration reform.”
Obviously, it remains to be seen whether the Obama administration’s aggressive push to change the timbre of the debate will bear fruit. But reactions from various camps have thusfar generally been positive. Even ideological opponents of the President’s agenda appeared taken aback by his inclusive approach to problem solving.