{{show_title_date || "Civil rights groups monitor steps toward immigration reform, 1/28/13, 7:00 PM ET"}}

National Urban League president on immigration reform: ‘It’s a good start’


Marc Morial called the latest immigration reform proposal a “serious start and a serious effort at a bipartisan solution to the problem of immigration in the nation.”

He added that “fairness, compassion, and common sense” should be used when addressing the problems of undocumented immigrants in America, and that not all of these immigrants are Latino.

“It’s important to recognize that the problem or the situation or the people involved are not simply from one part of the world, they’re from all over the world,” Morial said Tuesday on Andrea Mitchell Reports.

The National Urban League president also told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell that after the initial steps are taken to ensure immigration reform will happen, the government then needs to concentrate on how that will impact jobs.

“The idea that I like is the idea of having an independent mechanism, a commission of sorts, that will set the level of temporary work visas on an industry by industry basis,” Morial said. “And secondly, to do something that we do in the trade area, and that is to have some sort of job training, some sort of adjustment dollars available so that while working to solve this problem, we don’t have a detrimental impact on American workers, particularly African-American, Latino working people who are in this country already, who are citizens and who are of long standing in this nation.”

While speaking about bipartisanship and immigration reform, Mitchell brought up another topic that hasn’t seen too much bipartisan support—the argument for stricter gun control laws. She asked Morial how the Urban League could counter the NRA’s efforts to take the topic out of the national spotlight. Morial responded that Americans need to keep in mind that “the gun manufacturers lobby and their allies will attack anyone who seeks to impose common sense gun legislation.”

“I think we have to change—make sure that the discussion is not about a lobby group in Washington, that it is a discussion about the children,”  Morial said. “ It’s a discussion about the victims.  Whether they be the awful tragedy in Aurora or in Newtown or if it’s downtown Chicago or if it’s east side of Detroit or New Orleans or Baltimore, this is about the victims and the children, and what makes good sense in the 21st century.”

Morial also showed his support for President Obama’s and Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s roles in providing a stricter gun control legislation. He also said more emphasis must be placed on “prevention measures and on mental health interventions.”


National Urban League president on immigration reform: ‘It’s a good start’