With President Obama to schedule an immigration meeting with top policymakers on June 17 and Senator Reid's recent emphasis on immigration reform as a priority for U.S. Senate, the national immigration debate has heated up once again. A June 5 New York Times Editorial criticized the Obama administration's continuation of local law enforcement programs, citing, in particular, the Secure Communities Program that would allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement to check the immigration status of everyone in jail. Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal each expressed a degree of skepticism towards the passage of an immigration bill within 2009, citing energy and healthcare reform as top priorities already occupying the national agenda.
The ImmigrationProf Blog directs attention to the tragic story of Gustavo Rodriguez Adulfo, an undocumented worker who "has spent most of his adult life preparing food, sweeping floors and washing dishes at suburban Des Moines restaurants" and "paid more than $2,000 last year for state, federal, Social Security and Medicare taxes," now diagonsed with a grave illness for which he is unable to afford the $100,000 surgery fee. Rodriguez's case zooms in on the intersection of medical ethics and the law of the state, placing yet another aspect of U.S. immigration system into question.
At a local level, the Oakland City Council voted last week to offer identification cards for undocumented immigrants.