President Barack Obama plans to move forward with a promised immigration reform executive action that could affect the lives of millions of undocumented people.
Here’s a preview from The New York Times:
Asserting his authority as president to enforce the nation’s laws with discretion, Mr. Obama intends to order changes that will significantly refocus the activities of the government’s 12,000 immigration agents. One key piece of the order, officials said, will allow many parents of children who are American citizens or legal residents to obtain legal work documents and no longer worry about being discovered, separated from their families and sent away.
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President Obama on Thursday attended a meeting of leaders of Southeast Asian nations in Myanmar’ s capital, Naypyidaw.Obama, Down but Not Out, Presses AheadNOV. 13, 2014
That part of Mr. Obama’s plan alone could affect as many as 3.3 million people who have been living in the United States illegally for at least five years, according to an analysis by the Migration Policy Institute, an immigration research organization in Washington. But the White House is also considering a stricter policy that would limit the benefits to people who have lived in the country for at least 10 years, or about 2.5 million people.
The president believes it is the right and necessary thing to do, and that it falls squarely within his constitutional authority as the chief executive of the nation.
Of course, Republicans disagree and have threatened all sorts of things.
Quick question: Once Obama does this, should the GOP in the House start readying impeachment articles? Or should they try to push forward with a proposed lawsuit against the president that was supposed to deal with health reform, i.e. Obamacare, and simply add this to it?
A few things to consider:
- The Senate passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill with 68 votes.
- The House can take up that bill, vote on it or modify it, then send it back to the Senate.
- We have more fencing and law enforcement personnel on the border with Mexico than at any time in our history.
- The number of undocumented people entering this country has slowed tremendously.
- Obama ramped up deportation efforts to convince the GOP that he was serious about such enforcement, so much so that he has been dubbed “Deporter in Chief.”
- Since the Senate passed bill, Obama has given Speaker John Boehner room to get his caucus behind action, whether piecemeal or taking up the Senate bill; the House has yet to vote on immigration reform.
- No matter what the president does, the House and Senate can still pass an immigration reform package that would over-ride anything Obama does alone.
- Politically, Obama’s feet-dragging on executive action likely put a damper on the Latino vote in 2014, but his action now, coupled with an adverse reaction from the GOP, may energize the Latino vote in 2016, helping whoever becomes the Democratic nominee while forcing the Republican nominee to either anger the conservative base or do even worse among Latinos, meaning he likely can’t win the presidency.
So, given all of that, should the GOP go forward with impeachment proceedings? Should the party craft immigration policy to the right of the Senate bipartisan bill? Or something else?