President Obama signing the $787 billion “stimulus” bill this week (White House photo)
NEW YORK – President Obama affirmed in an interview with a Spanish-language radio show that his administration is preparing to push for a new round of “comprehensive immigration reform.”
The White House confirmed to WND Obama was a guest on the Univision show “Piolin por la Manana,” or “Piolin in the Morning,” hosted by Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo. A transcript of the interview, however, was not posted on the White House website.
“And then we’ve got to have comprehensive immigration reform,” Obama told the radio audience, according to a transcript. “It’s going to take some time to move that forward, but I’m very committed to making it happen.”
Obama further said his administration plans to “convene leadership” on the issue “so that we can start getting that legislation drawn up over the next several months.”
“Comprehensive immigration reform” became catchwords in the 109th and 110th Congresses for the legislation co-sponsored by Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy and Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain to create a “path to citizenship” and a “guest worker program” for the more than 12 million illegal immigrants the federal government admits are living in the U.S.
Eddie “Piolín” Sotelo (Univision Radio)
Characterized as a “shamnesty” bill by opponents that viewed the measure as amnesty for illegal immigrants, the U.S. Senate finally defeated repeated Bush administration efforts that trace back to 2005. A June 7, 2007, vote on cloture failed in the Senate by a vote of 34-61.
During the 2007 debate in the Senate over the Kennedy-McCain bill, Sotelo used his radio show to begin a letter-writing campaign urging the bill’s passage.
In a cross-country caravan journey making stops in Albuquerque, Dallas and Chicago, Piolin collected a claimed 1 million letters which he delivered June 14, 2007, to members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus as well as Sens. Kennedy; Mel Martinez, R-Fla.; Robert Menendez, D-N.J.; Ken Salazar, D-Colo.; and Arlen Specter, R-Pa.
Piolin, who entered the U.S. illegally two decades ago in a car trunk, became a nationalized U.S. citizen last May.
In 2005, Piolin used his radio show to play a major role promoting May Day rallies across the U.S. in which thousands of illegal immigrants were photographed marching under the banner of the Mexican flag.