Prospects for immigration reform are suddenly brighter as it looks increasingly likely that a deal on health care will be struck by the Congress and a pledge from President Obama that immigration will be up next.
According to The New York Times the Obama administration has made clear its next two priorities are jobs and immigration reform. In a conversation with wavering Democrats "the president warned that his other priorities — jobs and immigration — would be tougher to achieve if the health bill does not pass." The Times reports.
Obama is quoted saying saying,"If we fail at this it’s going to be harder for us to pull the line on this other stuff. It is going to weaken our presidency.”
But earlier fears fears that the health bill might be stalled now seem to be fading and Speaker Nancy Pelosi has clearly become far more confident that she has the 216 votes in the House to pass the legislation.
If that is the case then the president has given his word to the Hispanic caucus that he will make immigration a definite focus. He made it clear at a St.Patrick's party at the White House that he was ready to focus on immigration reform.
Sunday's rally in Washington for immigration reform just as the health care bill is being debated will also focus attention on the issu.e
Obama would also be greatly strengthened by a health care victory which will inevitably strengthen his hand on immigration too.
" President Obama will prove he can get health care through" predicted Ciaran Staunton president of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform. "He is the first president since Roosevelt who has succeeded if he does. Immigration reform can be got through this Congress as well."
There are an estimated 50,000 undocumented Irish citizens in America with more coming as the Irish economy flounders.