Are Activists at Fault for Not Pushing Immigration Reform? That’s a Question the White House Would Like You to Answer

Nov 29, 2016
2:12 PM


Permit us a moment for a full disclosure on the following post. Our founder, who does not work on the editorial for this site due to his day job, always likes to send us stories that he wrote for his day job. Earlier today, he wrote a rather lengthy piece that summarized a 35-minute podcast the White House’s Cecilia Muñoz had this week with the Center for Migration Studies about President Obama’s immigration legacy. Our group listened to the full podcast after we got the piece sent to us. Here is the embed for the podcast in case you want to listen (it’s a good listen):

Muñoz covers a lot in that segment and if you want to read more about what she said, you can go here, but at the same time, there is one quote that Muñoz gives near the end of the conversation that has ask asking questions. Here is the full quote:

Rightfully so, the immigrant rights community is focused very much on the question of protection for the folks who are here without immigration status. Understandably, that’s work I did for many, many years,” Muñoz explained. “The protection issue understandably got so huge, that it ended up being bigger than the legislative debate. And so folks I think pivoted to this notion that the President just should do whatever he can do right now because we need to protect people right now, and that probably happens several years before we had the opportunity… we still had a window for congressional consideration of immigration reform. And much of the advocacy community wasn’t focused on it because they just really wanted the President to take executive action.

And the President insisted that we should leave no stone unturned in getting Congress to do its job because his authority was limited, and unfortunately, we’re now in a situation where folks took the heat off of Congress. Congress didn’t do its job. No one can answer the question of whether or not if we kept the heat on, the House would have gotten there. We’ll never know. But as a result, it’s possible we missed an opportunity to fix what’s broken.

Are Muñoz and the White House implying that all the work done by immigrant rights activists over the course of years were for naught? Is this the moment when the White House is telling this community that they should be the ones to blame for not making immigration reform a reality?

At the risk of answering our own questions, we want to just ask YOU what you think.

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