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A Hopeful Beginning

La Opinin, Posted: Jun 26, 2009

LOS ANGELES -- Yesterdays White House meeting between President Obama and a group of lawmakers is the first step toward immigration reform. It does not guarantee that new legislation will be feasible this year despite the urgent need, but the fact that it has begun is hopeful, according to an editorial in La Opinin. One reason for high expectations is Wednesdays proposal made by Senate Subcommittee on Immigration Chair, Senator Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. President Obamas involvement in this issue is key to the process, editors write: Without the president putting his full weight behind immigration reform, it will be hard to get other lawmakers to support it when the time comes.

The editorial argues that it is necessary to change immigration laws this year. There are many political, economic and humanitarian reasons for this urgency. Politically, reform may too easily politicized, if taken up during an election cycle like next year. From an economic point of view, the flow of labor must be regulated to find a balance between the number of foreign workers without displacing Americans. Finally, it is essential to bring millions of people who have been contributing their work to our country out of the shadows. Normalizing the status of the undocumented would give them stability and prevent them from being exploited by employers who take advantage of their precarious situation. "The cards are now on the table," the editorial concludes. "We hope that they will be well played."

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