The New York Times continued to push for amnesty for illegal immigrants, this time on Saturday's front page, courtesy of its most reliable pro-amnesty reporter, Julia Preston, reporting from New Haven, "Young Immigrants Say It's Obama's Time to Act." For the umpteenth time the paper boasted of illegals emerging "from the shadows" (although for a such a frightened group, they sure do get their pictures in the Times a lot).
It has been a good year for young immigrants living in the country without legal papers, the ones who call themselves Dreamers.
Their protests and pressure helped push President Obama to offer many of them reprieves from deportation. So far about 310,000 youths have emerged from the shadows to apply, with numbers rising rapidly.
Door-knocking campaigns led by those immigrants, who could not vote, mobilized many Latinos who could, based in no small part on the popularity of the reprieve program. After Latinos rewarded Mr. Obama with 71 percent of their votes, the president said one of the first items on his agenda next year would be a bill to legalize 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States, which would offer a path to citizenship for young people.
Now, movement leaders say, it is payback time. When Congress last debated broad reform, in 2007, populist energy was on the side of those opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants. Angry resistance from Republicans defeated a legalization proposal by President George W. Bush.
Gaby Pacheco, 27, originally from Ecuador, hoped to teach children with autism, but without papers could not be certified. In 2010 she joined a four-month protest walk from her home in Miami to Washington with three other students.
Indeed, Preston awarded that four-student "march" a full story, buying in to the self-serving melodrama of the protesters.
Preston followed up in Monday's edition with a dispatch from Kansas City from the United We Dream "congress," "Immigrant Activists Cast a Wider Net – Young Leaders Plan to Mobilize For Comprehensive Overhaul." The gathering of 600 was compose mostly of illegal immigrants, as she admits indirectly in paragraph 7 when she said "most of the young people who attended the conference do not have legal papers."
After a boisterous three-day congress here, more than 600 leaders of a national movement of young immigrants living in the country without legal papers voted to expand beyond their past demands for citizenship for young people, and to mobilize in support of a bill to legalize 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States.
The leaders of the United We Dream network, the largest organization of youths here illegally, decided to push President Obama and Congress next year for legislation to open a path to citizenship for them and their families. The move will increase pressure on Mr. Obama and lawmakers to pass a comprehensive overhaul, rather than taking on the debate over immigration in smaller pieces to try to gain more support among Republicans.
The network’s platform calling for an “inclusive pathway to citizenship,” which the leaders adopted unanimously in a vote on Sunday morning, is likely to have a large influence on the debate Mr. Obama said he planned to kick off soon after his inauguration in January. The young people, who call themselves Dreamers, generally attract more sympathy from American voters than other immigrants here illegally, because most were brought to the country as children and many became activists after their illegal status thwarted their plans for college.
Preston pushed Obama from the left.
For many young people, getting here was still a challenge. Some who came from California said they had taken the risk of flying for the first time, passing security with state identity documents. Others came by car from places like Florida, New York and Texas, driven by the few among them who have valid licenses.
Their decision to push for legal status for their families was intensely emotional. When they were asked at a plenary session how many had been separated by deportation from a parent or other close family member, hundreds of hands went up. They were critical of Mr. Obama for deporting more than 1.4 million people during his first term.
Preston concluded with the standard "GOP is doomed" spiel.
Network leaders said the election results, in which Mitt Romney won only 27 percent of the Latino vote, give them new influence with both parties, but particularly with Republicans.
“The Republican Party alienated Latino voters in ways they hadn’t done before,” said Lorella Praeli, a leader of the United We Dream organization. “Our leverage is that our community is growing,” Ms. Praeli said. She suggested that young immigrants ask Republicans: “Do you want your party to see the inside of the White House again?”