Although nearly everyone agrees that U.S. immigration policy is inadequate, different critics focus on different elements of the problem. The most comprehensive proposal comes from Representative Luis Gutierrez (D., Ill.), a native Chicagoan of Puerto Rican ancestry who has criticized President Obama’s reluctance to address the issue. Gutierrez’s bill is heartily endorsed by most immigrants’ rights groups, but it is not likely to pass in its current form. Jen Smyers of Church World Service calls it “a marker bill,” since it stakes out a clear position. It has no Republican supporters.
On the heels of a rally on the National Mall by advocates of immigration reform, religious leaders met at the White House on March 22 to plot strategy, despite a packed election-year political calendar.
With less than six months to go before the start of the 2010 census, immigration reform activists—divided over whether undocumented immigrants should volunteer to be counted—are escalating rhetoric as they seek critical support from Latino evangelical and Protestant pastors.