(Boston, Revised 04/27/10) New England Law | Boston: Professor Dina Francesca Haynes, director of the Immigration Law Project, was part of an advisory group that met in April with White House and Senate immigration and foreign policy staff to consider comprehensive immigration reform. The meetings took place as the Obama administration is debating whether to make the contentious issue a priority during the current congressional session.
“I am encouraged by the level of attention that this issue is receiving,” commented Professor Haynes. “We had substantive meetings at the White House and on Capitol Hill with individuals who are committed to understanding what can be done to improve the current situation.”
The eclectic, bipartisan group also included Jim Tolle, an evangelical pastor; Juan Hernández, who was minister for Mexicans living abroad under former Mexican President Vicente Fox and later served as Hispanic outreach coordinator for Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign; and Robert Gittelson, a Los Angeles garment manufacturer with extensive experience in immigration issues.
They shared their collective insights with Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), chair of the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship; staffers for Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Olympia Snowe (R-ME); and the director and staff of Reform Immigration for America, as well as White House staff focused on immigration and intergovernmental affairs.