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Thursday, July 1, 2010

The President, Immigration and Missed Opportunities

In an ironic twist, today the President will be talking about immigration reform with "representatives from online media outlets examining several angles of the immigration issue." However, to the best of my knowledge, perhaps one of the most important segments from the online community (particularly given the topic and its impact on the community) will be absent: Latina/Latino bloggers.

I have been trying to probe and ask folks in the beltway who seem to be in the know who will be there and so far there does not seem to be representation from the Latina/Latino blogosphere. Putting it mildly, given all of the work that this segment of the online community has done on this topic, this seems like a missed opportunity.

Many are left asking themselves whether this conversation will be substantive, intended to drive immigration reform inclusive of the Dream Act forward or just more rhetoric designed to influence the Latino community's participation in electoral politics.

I remain open minded but deeply troubled that years after my participation in this topic the Latina/Latino blogosphere remains without a seat at the table at such an important juncture. When discussing other issues like Health Care reform, other communities were invited to sit at the table with the president, i.e., when discussing Health Care reform female bloggers were invited to the table. Why is that not the case on this issue?

More information from the White House on today's events below:  

Today, President Obama will deliver remarks on the need to fix our broken immigration system through comprehensive immigration reform at the American Univeristy School of International Service. The speech will be streamed live at at 10:45AM EDT ( If you miss it, at 1:00 PM EST you can still join Cecilia Muñoz, one of the President’s closest advisors on this issue, who will be taking questions from Americans all over the country in a unique online roundtable. Or join Administration officials for a conference call at 4pm EST to discuss the President’s speech.
The White House Blog

The President's Speech, and a Chat, on Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Posted by Jesse Lee on June 30, 2010 at 01:52 PM EDT

Speaking to 24 American service members as they became citizens of our nation in April, the President was passionate about the need to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform:

Over the years, many have attempted to confront this challenge, but passions are great and disagreements run deep. Yet surely we can all agree that when 11 million people in our country are living here illegally, outside the system, that’s unacceptable. The American people demand and deserve a solution. And they deserve common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform grounded in the principles of responsibility and accountability.

As he explained, and as his record shows, the government has a responsibility to enforce the law. But as he also explained, the only way to truly fix our broken immigration system is with a comprehensive federal approach.

Tomorrow , Tuesday July 1st, the President will make clear that this is a top priority and call on Congress to tackle it in a major speech at American University at 10:45AM EDT.

Watch the President’s speech at 10:45 here at

After the speech, we will also host a unique online engagement event – what we’re calling an “Open for Questions Roundtable” – with Cecilia Muñoz, one of the President’s closest advisors on the issue. Representatives from online media outlets examining several angles of the immigration issue will be there posing the questions on the minds of their readers -- Forbes, which focuses on business and economic issues; the network which has citizen reporters in every state including more than 50 border state communities; CNET which focuses on the tech community; and, which has covered the immigration debate as closely as anybody for years. And as we always do, we’ll be taking some of your questions live via Facebook as well.

Join the “Open for Questions Roundtable” at 1:00 via Facebook

Watch the chat and submit question at 1:00 via

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