The Congress of Racial Equality, one of the nation's oldest Civil Rights
organizations, urged President Obama and Congress to follow through on
campaign pledges to make Immigration Reform a "top priority". "Candidate
Obama benefited from the implosion of Latino GOP support in the aftermath of
the rancorous immigration debate of 2008. Now President Obama has the
responsibility to the American people, particularly to the isolated 12
million resident immigrants that live in legal limbo, to enact comprehensive
immigration reform," said CORE National Spokesman, Niger Innis. He later
added that the President and Congress have great political leverage with
increased Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress and the good will
of the American people. "It is curious that the President and Congressional
leadership have not maximized their political capital to move on this issue.
The political reality in Washington today is that whatever the President and
his political party want to do, they can do. And they can do it now. They
have passed the President's 787 billion dollar Economic Stimulus Package.
They are rapidly moving to radically transform energy policy and promote a
massive healthcare overhaul. They are advancing these initiatives with
little or no Republican support. Their lack of movement on the immigration
front reflects a lack of political will, not lack of political muscle,"
CORE is part of a large alliance of community and faith based organizations
promoting immigration reform. In the vanguard of this coalition is the
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), one of the
largest and most prestigious religious organizations serving 15 million
Latino Evangelicals nationwide. CORE and NHCLC have also recently entered
into a partnership to promote financial literacy for their constituents
across the country.
CORE was an early advocate of immigration reform. After the Immigration
Reform and Control Act of 1986 was passed by Congress, CORE was made a NCA
(National Coordinating Agency) to monitor and administrate the legalization
process. As one of only 11 NCAs in the country, CORE oversaw QDEs (Qualified
Designated Entity) across the country to help the Federal Government process
those that qualified to earn normalized status within the country.
CORE believes its position to be one of pragmatic compassion and
integration. "We don't need a segment of the American workforce to be in a
state of Neo-Slavery because of their undefined status; a status that often
makes them vulnerable to unscrupulous employers. The reality is that the
American government will not deport 12 million people who lack legalized
status. So the question is: do we want to integrate most of these 12 million
people into the mainstream of American life? Or do we want to commit
societal suicide by creating a balkanized and alienated underclass?" Innis