President Obama pushes immigration overhaul

SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson talks about President Obama's efforts to resurrect and reframe the discussion on immigration.


EL PASO, Texas — President Barack Obama Tuesday challenged lawmakers to enact immigration reform, declaring that immigrants benefit the U.S. economy and that the border is more secure than ever.

“The question is whether those in Congress who previously walked away in the name of enforcement are now ready to come back to the table and finish the work that we’ve started,” Obama told about 900 people at an outdoor speech under a dry, baking sun. “We’ve got to put the politics aside.”

Obama’s Texas trip had its own political overtones: Beyond trying to reframe the immigration debate, the president’s visit aimed to shore up Hispanic support on the border ahead of two Democratic Party fundraisers in Austin. . .

“I think people believe Obama would like to push the immigration issue, but I don’t think that is going to be possible,” said Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. “As a practical matter, this set of issues is not going to move until after the election, and then only if the Democrats have a good cycle in 2012.”

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