Today is a momentous day in the progress towards immigration reform. President Obama is beginning his first lobbying efforts for reform and the House of Representatives is holding its first hearing on the subject.
The president will meet with DREAMers and other reform leaders today at the White House. He also has meetings scheduled with unions and business leaders. The meetings kick off a week of action from the administration to begin pressing conservatives to abandon their long-held hostility to the legalization of undocumented immigrants. Although Obama has been talking about reform since shortly after Christmas, today’s meetings are designed to energize advocates for what is expected to be a five month struggle to pass comprehensive legislation.
The campaign is already pushing some immigration hard-liners to make changes. This may be on display today in the House of Representatives. The House Judiciary Committee will hold its first hearings today on immigration reform. House Republicans have promised that a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented will at least be on the table during the hearings. A combination of massive Latino turnout during the 2012 elections and skillful politics from the White House has moved the ball a lot on immigration.