Recently, the Obama Administration announced that the White House is teaming up with Democrats in Congress in order to form an “Immigration Strike Team.” The purpose of the Immigration Strike Team is to prepare for and provide a more efficient and organized response to oppose any anti-immigration actions congressional Republicans may take in the next few months.
The Goal of the Immigration Strike Team
The idea for the Immigration Strike Team was conceived in the wake of Republicans’ official statements to the media about their proposals to withhold funds for federal agencies that deal with immigration laws, to pass a law to prematurely end the President’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and similar initiatives.
The overarching goal of the Immigration Strike Team, according to several congressional aides familiar with the plans, is to ensure that lawmakers and administration officials are on the same page and issuing similar statements regarding immigration reform and upcoming policy changes. The purpose of this goal is to ensure that the Republicans are not able to misinform the public by misconstruing the President’s actions on immigration, and also to ensure that those opposed to the President’s actions do not foment public controversies through incendiary statements or counter-productive legislation.
Further Information on the Strike Team
One of the Democrats’ main priorities in the fight for comprehensive immigration reform is to make sure interested and affected parties – especially those in the Latino communities – have access to current and correct information and news. To that end, the Immigration Strike Team will offer English and Spanish bilingual messages to be aired on Spanish-language media, such as Telemundo, Univision, and local bilingual radio stations.
Additionally, to ensure that both old and new Democrat congressional offices have the opportunity to be actively involved with the Strike Team, the White House is making phone calls, holding in-person meetings, and exchanging emails with senior and junior members of the Party. The Administration acknowledges that while not every Democrat approached may decide to sign on to the Strike Team, inviting all who may possibly be interested in doing so will help spread the Team’s message and goals around Capitol Hill.
Currently, the major players of the “Gang of Eight” who wrote the Senate immigration bill that passed last summer have already committed to being part of the Team, and Democrats who hail from states that boast large Latino populations have also voiced their support and commitment, including Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, who is bilingual and who makes many appearances on Spanish-language medical outlets.
The first Team conference call occurred Wednesday of this week. According to a White House aide, this call was mainly an introduction for all of the participants. Future calls or meetings will likely focus on how to generate the public’s interest in an upcoming Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that is scheduled for next week and that will outline what the Democrats feel are the benefits of the President’s recent executive action on immigration.
It seems that the Republicans and Democrats are already gearing up for a fight over the President’s executive action. However, a more productive response would simply be to pass real immigration reform! Continue to check with our blog for the most up to date news on this and all other immigration-related issues.
Additional Blog Posts
What Employers Should Know About Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, ImmigRantings, November 28, 2012
New Jersey is the Newest State to Offer In-State Tuition to Undocumented Students, ImmigRantings, January 23, 2014