IMMIGRANT ADVOCATES START PUSH FOR REFORMS AS DC PREPS FOR INAUGURAL

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Jan. 18, 2013

WASHINGTON DC – The nation’s capital is seeing red, white and blue. Finishing touches are being done for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration.

As mandated by the constitution, all Presidents begin their term on January 20 at noon (EST) — the official inauguration day.

But January 20 falls on a Sunday, so a small private swearing-in ceremony will be held on that day instead.

Then a public ceremony will be held on Monday, January 21, where the oath of office will be administered on the steps of the U.S. capitol followed by the President’s second inaugural address.

A crowd of up to 800,000 people is expected.

Washington DC resident Michael Merillana said, “We’re looking forward to it. It’s another four years for our President and we’re expecting a lot of people, so we’re all excited!”

Meantime, the President has not even started his second term yet but there is already a growing momentum for immigration reform in the 113th Congress.

Executive Director of the National Immigration Reform, Ali Noorani said, “Today we are joined by the highest echelons of America’s business, law enforcement and faith leadership to call upon Congress to work together to pass broad immigration reform that deals with aspiring citizens by creating a path, a road to lawful status.”

Thomas Donahue is the President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business organization representing the interest of more than three million businesses of all sizes, regions and sectors.

He is pushing for an expansion of the guest workers program, a visa system tied to market demands that would include not only high skilled workers, but workers that could fill the labor shortage in fields not traditionally covered by the program.

Donahue said, “Home health care aides and nursing home workers are prime examples. The caps should go up when the economy is strong and be adjusted down when the economy is not.”

Former Secretary of Commerce under President George W. Bush, Carlos Gutierrez is a Republican.
He not only agrees that the immigration system needs to be fixed, he said he believes that passing immigration reform is a potential stimulus to the U.S. economy without costing the government a trillion dollars.

Gutierrez said, “We are not going to round up 12 million people and kick them out of the country. I’ll be incredibly embarrassed as a U.S. Citizen if that would be our country’s response to this.”

You may contact Don Tagala at don_tagala@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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