|No work has been done on the $4.8 billion Echelon casino|
project on the Strip in Las Vegas in 4 years and 5 months
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama will employ Las Vegas as the platform to begin a new push for immigration overhaul that would include a chance at citizenship for millions of undocumented residents, the White House said Friday.
Obama plans to travel to Southern Nevada on Tuesday to promote an immigration overhaul, a cause that fell by the wayside during his first term. The president has reaffirmed the issue as a priority, and it has picked up bipartisan interest in Congress as well.
After Obama huddled for a strategy session Friday morning with a half dozen Hispanic lawmakers, the White House said the purpose of the trip was "to redouble the administration's efforts to work with Congress to fix the broken immigration system this year."
Obama told lawmakers the immigration reform was "a top legislative priority," the White House said. The president renewed a promise to Hispanics to move immigration to the front burner this year, a goal echoed by Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the Senate majority leader.
The choice of Las Vegas to spotlight immigration was hardly unusual, as Hispanics in Nevada have grown to more than a quarter of the state's population, and Latino voters here backed Obama for re-election in November by a 70 percent to 25 percent margin over Mitt Romney.
Not long ago, the choice of a state with 10.2% unemployment (which ties Nevada with Rhode Island for worst unemployment in the country) to announce a new pro-immigration push would have seemed "unusual" just from a PR standpoint alone. But, in recent years, mainstream discussion of immigration has increasingly dumbed down. These days, mentioning economics in connection with immigration policy is considered way too complicated. Instead, mainstream thinking about immigration policy is conducted solely in tribalist terms. There are lots of unemployed Hispanics in Nevada, so that's where Obama is going to tell the world he wants more of them.
... Details of the Senate proposals remained unclear, but the principles are expected to address a process toward legalizing the status of unauthorized immigrants already in the country, border security, verification measures for employers hiring workers, and ways for more temporary workers to be admitted into the country.