The dialogue on immigration has, historically, been contentious and cyclical. There are times when hysteria peaks, and rational thought struggles to enter the national dialogue. There are also moments of truth. This week, independent media debunked many myths about the undocumented and made the case for the positive impact of immigrants in the US, including the positive effect of legalizing the undocumented on the economy and how citizens are holding elected representatives accountable for votes against pro-immigrant measures.
Obama needs to call forth a collective effort from the American people. Politically, he is at the apex of his administration's ability to summon the excitement of community and sacrifice that Americans have always given at moments of peril.
by Zach Carter, Media Consortium MediaWire Blogger
"I'm not talking about a budget deficit. I'm not talking about a trade deficit. I'm not talking about a deficit of good ideas or new plans. I'm talking about a moral deficit . . . . We have a deficit when CEOs are making more in ten minutes than some workers make in ten months; when families lose their homes so that lenders make a profit; when mothers can't afford a doctor when their children get sick."
"If we don't act swiftly and boldly, we could see a much deeper economic downturn that could lead to double-digit unemployment," President-elect Obama on Saturday in his weekly radio address.
As if clairvoyant in separate statements released last Friday afternoon, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio voiced their concerns on passing what is likely to be the largest spending bill in the the nation's history without extended committee and floor debate.
"We agree with President-elect Obama that taking action to turn the economy around is job one. We also agree, though, that every dollar needs to be spent wisely and not wasted in the rush to get it spent," Senator McConnell said. "And we hope that Democrats in Congress don't attempt to shut the American taxpayer out of this process by trying to pass a bill that hasn't been the subject of bipartisan review and that hasn't been available for public inspection."
"Let's be clear," said Congressman Boehner, "it is essential that this legislation be debated in a fair, open, and honest way. Congress should have public hearings in the appropriate committees, the text of the measure should be made available online for the American people to review for at least one week, and it should be free from special-interest earmarks."
That the GOP is dragging its feet on the economic recovery stimulus package isn't shocking but to hear House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer suggest that the House of Representatives isn't likely to pass an economic stimulus bill by President-elect Barack Obama's first day in office is a tad disconcerting.