Leslie Berestein, Union-Tribune (San Diego), July 13, 2008
Local immigrant-rights activist Enrique Morones said he was thrilled but shocked to receive a public thank-you from Sen. Barack Obama as the Democratic presidential candidate was launching into his speech Sunday at the National Council of La Raza convention.
Obama, at the podium, had just thanked two top NCLR officials before his speech when he thanked Morones of Border Angels, a group that stocks desert water stations and lobbies intensely for immigrant rights, often with a theatrical flair and a blunt style that has drawn the ire of anti-illegal immigration activists.
Aside from the high-profile shout out, Morones said, he was glad to hear Obama promise during his speech that he would make immigration reform a priority. The candidate promised, among other things, to allow a path to eventual citizenship for undocumented immigrants already living and working here, provided they pay a fine, learn English and wait their turn behind legal residents.