(CNSNews.com) – Actress Eva Longoria, who has met with President Barack Obama at the White House to discuss immigration reform told CNSNews.com that given the amount of Latinos that supported Obama in the 2008 election, there is "definitely" a "need for action" on immigration.
In October 2009, Longoria told CNSNews.com on Capitol Hill that it’s time to take on immigration reform. CNSNews.com asked Longoria on Thursday why she thinks it has not happened yet.
"Oh gosh, well, I think the President’s been a little busy with the economy and health care and the wars. You know, unfortunately, this issue has been on the national agenda for many, many administrations so it’s not really the fault of this administration; although with the amount of Latinos that supported Obama, there definitely is a need for action on immigration and also it’s an economic issue," she told CNSNews.com on Capitol Hill.
"I mean people want to frame it as an immigrant issue but it really is an economic issue. We have an emerging market within our own borders. We have kids with fire in their belly and we’re sending them back to a country bitter and angry and I think we should capture those children and let them contribute to our economy and society."
Longoria was referring to her support for the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act or DREAM Act which would allow immigrants with a U.S. high school diploma or equivalent who came to America before the age of 16 and stayed there for at least five years to become U.S. residents after they've spent two years in college or the military.
Grammy award-winning music producer Emilio Estefan, Latino music superstar Gloria Estefan’s husband, has also met with President Obama at the White House to discuss immigration reform.
"Sometimes they blame the President but it’s not really the President. You know, he has to pass that through the Senate, that’s why we were talking to him, how are we able to help recognize and put pressure to a lot of politicians from different states and I feel the meeting was incredible, I think we learned a lot of things; we learned a lot of things that how we can do things to help him," he told CNSNews.com.
"We believe that Latinos make a great contribution to this country and we always tell him how blessed we are to live in the United States and you know something, we want to help to make sure that we have this reform."
Given that Congress has not passed the DREAM Act, Estefan was asked if he thinks the federal government should stop deporting illegal immigrant students.
"It’s a hard question – half of my heart says you know something, we need to protect the United States and at the same time, it’s 25 million people that live here that’s been illegal and the DREAM Act, I hope that it pass, of course they’re going to go back to the work on it," he said.
"I think what is the solution should be to fix what we have, maybe have a visa for 5 years and people pay some money and show their records for five years and you know, maybe leave them here so and so anything wrong they will send them back to their county."