The curious thing about the immigration reform initiatives launched by President Barack Obama this November is that they pretty much echo the steps California already has taken to acknowledge the role that illegal immigrants play in our economy.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s leadership has produced a series of new laws that allow students who are the children of immigrants to get financial aid for college, enable millions to drive safely with insurance and edge out of the shadows and into the economic mainstream.
However, the President’s initiatives fall far short of a permanent solution to providing a workforce for the state’s vital agribusiness community. And they don’t fully resolve the problem of making it easier and cheaper for businesses to hire scientists and other skilled workers who are trained at U.S. graduate schools.
President Obama has rolled the dice on a piecemeal immigration reform effort, hoping to appeal to his flagging political base and betting that what follows is something more comprehensive. We hope that’s the case.