On March 18, President Obama made a pledge to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) that he would push for amnesty for illegal aliens, in a move that that the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) called an act of "buying votes."
Obama’s promise came just hours after members of the CHC threw their support behind the healthcare reform bill, which passed late on March 21.
The announcement also coincided with the release of an outline for amnesty legislation by Senators Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), which would require illegal aliens to admit that they broke the law, pay a fine and back taxes and fulfill certain civic requirements in order to regulate their status. Moreover, the proposal calls for increases in future immigration to the United States.
"The Schumer-Graham plan appears to be a near carbon copy of the McCain-Kennedy-Bush amnesty legislation that was resoundingly rejected by the American people in 2007," said Dan Stein, president of FAIR.
Coincidentally, a huge crowd marched on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., March 21—the day of the healthcare vote—to support the administration’s proposals for immigration overhaul.
During the rally, Obama spoke via a video link, saying he would do "everything in my power" to get a deal within the year.
"While Congress and the administration ignore the concerns of millions of American families who are struggling through the worst economic crisis in 75 years, they appear remarkably responsive to the demands of people who are in the country illegally," Stein commented.