Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tragic neglect of immigration

By Rudy Ruiz
Special to CNN

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (CNN) -- One of the greatest challenges for minorities in any democracy is that their priorities often differ with those of the majority.

Consequently, even if a minority group does not experience outright tyranny, it can suffer tragic neglect. That's the lingering problem with immigration reform.

Latino leaders have long called for comprehensive immigration reform. During the presidential campaign, it finally seemed destined for reality as candidates sought the crucial Latino vote.

But today, where's immigration reform on the list of priorities?

Apparently, it's plummeting faster than bank stocks were during the market's freefall. Maybe the president hoped we wouldn't notice. He mentioned it in passing while we were engrossed in the health care drama. And instead of telling us directly, in a meeting with the Latino leaders that supported his candidacy, he announced it while chatting with foreign heads of state.

What did he say? No immigration reform until 2010. But since he's expending massive political capital on health care, and 2010 is a midterm election year renowned for inaction on controversial matters, the postponement is as menacing as the promise is dubious.

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