Posted on April 26, 2011

Obama Hosts Amnesty Summit at White House

FAIR, April 25, 2011

Only days after launching his 2012 re-election bid, President Obama revived the issue of immigration reform with a meeting at the White House last Tuesday.  There, the President hosted approximately 70 guests including former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti, Rev. Al Sharpton and former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez.  (Ventura County Star, April 19, 2011)  Although the White House press release on the meeting stated that the President planned to discuss how to “build a bipartisan consensus in Congress” on immigration reform, the White House neither invited any Members of Congress nor law enforcement representatives.  (The White House Office of the Press Secretary, April 19, 2011) 

Noticeably absent from the discussions was Representative Elton Gallegly (R-CA), current Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement.  (Ventura County Star, April 19, 2011)  Rep. Gallegly called the President’s meeting and selective guest list a “summit on amnesty,” noting that the attendees “were obviously people who were not concerned about stopping illegal immigration.” (Id.)  

Also absent from the White House gathering were governors from border states.  Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said “it was a little bit of a snub” that neither she nor Texas Governor Rick Perry received an invitation from the President.  (The Hill, April 20, 2011)  Gov. Brewer remarked that since she and Governor Perry are on the front lines working to secure the border, they “should have been afforded that opportunity, to be at the table to help him understand the situation.”  (Id.)  Arizona’s governor has met with President Obama in the past, during which meeting the President referred to Arizona’s immigration law, S.B. 1070, as “misguided.”  (Id.)