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Obama's Executive Actions on Immigration Reform

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  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Plans for President Obama's executive actions on immigration reform are being leaked to the media, perhaps as a trial balloon.

    Washington Post, November 13, 2014: Obama’s immigration move revealed: The focus is on the family

    President Obama is going ahead with a "broad overhaul of the nation’s immigration enforcement system that will protect up to five million undocumented immigrants from the threat of deportation and provide many of them with work permits, according to administration officials who have direct knowledge of the plan."

    There are several provisions, but the heart on the planned action is keeping families together. Parents whose children are legal residents or citizens will be allowed to stay as well parents of those who came to the U.S. as young children but aren’t documented.

    The "keeping families together" should sell well with the American public. What additional provisions he will include remains to be seen. Republicans are of course in an uproar, and Speaker Boehner has called his planned actions unconstitutional. However, he ignores very similar executive actions on immigration reform undertaken by George H.W. Bush.

    The Hill: When Reagan and GHW Bush took bold executive action on immigration

    Bush's actions also focused on not splitting up families. So Obama's planned actions are certainly legal and also have precedent.

    We have debated various aspects of immigration reform in this website and I don't propose to revisit all those arguments in this thread. To refresh memories, you can go to these threads:

    Democratic Hub Forums: Obama requests $3.7 billion to stem tide of children refugees

    Democratic Hub Forums: Boehner just can't trust Obama to do Immigration Reform

    I would prefer to confine this discussion to the legality of President Obama's planned actions. Is it unconstitutional as Speaker Boehner claims? Senators Cruz and Lee plan to ask that question of Loretta Lynch in her confirmation hearings.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Schmidt Wrote: I would prefer to confine this discussion to the legality of President Obama's planned actions. Is it unconstitutional as Speaker Boehner claims? Senators Cruz and Lee plan to ask that question of Loretta Lynch in her confirmation hearings.
    I wish you the best of luck on this preference!

    Ms. Lynch should answer that question with an unequivocal 'no'. The President has broad authority both under Article II of the Constitution and through various Supreme Court opinions to use executive action. She understands that full well and I look forward to hearing her push back against Senators Cruz and Lee. Boehner has no say in her confirmation, so I could honestly care less what he thinks.

    I look forward to President Obama issuing a broad action and daring the Republicans to lose the Hispanic vote for a generation. It's like the Republican Party just can't accept that whites will be a plurality and not a majority in the next few decades. Whites are already the plurality in California and that will only intensify in the years ahead. The Republicans are shooting themselves in the foot with their xenophobic party platform. It might win them an election now, but I honestly think they will go the way of the Whigs if they don't drastically change their platform.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Who ultimately decides if his actions are legal? The Supreme Court? That would take a lawsuit and could take a while.

    I can appreciate that any actions he does take (if allowed to proceed) will only last as long as his presidency. So as you point out, the hot political issue for the 2016 election could be the continuation of the terms of Obama's executive action on immigration reform. If say a Hillary Clinton (assuming she's the candidate) would state as a part of her campaign that she will continue or renew those executive actions in the absence of Congressional legislative initiatives, it puts the Republican candidate in a difficult spot regarding the Latino vote.

    The Tea Party will vet their candidates in the primary process, and they will be the ones shooting themselves in the foot. I don't think McConnell has the stomach for this fight.

    Ultimately it might force the House and Senate to take a vote on some kind of compromise legislation, which Obama could always veto if it doesn't meet his minimum criteria.

    Anyway, getting back to my question, Republicans have raised the "I" word...impeachment if he goes down this path. There are many in the House who would love to tarnish Obama's record with the "impeached" label, even if the Senate doesn't go along. And with Fox News controlling public opinion, it is something that they just feel they can do without tarnishing themselves.
  • Liberal
    Other Party
    Llos Angeles, CA
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    They better do something. The Home Depot near my house has so many aliens looking for work they got me thinking I'm at Raider tailgate party
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Schmidt Wrote: Who ultimately decides if his actions are legal? The Supreme Court? That would take a lawsuit and could take a while.
    The Supreme Court is the final arbiter when it comes to disputes between the Executive and Legislative Branches, but any case would have to work its way up through the courts.

    And you are correct. A lawsuit rarely works. Just ask the House of Representatives how their yet to be filed lawsuit is working out for them. They can't even find a law firm willing to represent them in court.
    Schmidt Wrote:I can appreciate that any actions he does take (if allowed to proceed) will only last as long as his presidency. So as you point out, the hot political issue for the 2016 election could be the continuation of the terms of Obama's executive action on immigration reform. If say a Hillary Clinton (assuming she's the candidate) would state as a part of her campaign that she will continue or renew those executive actions in the absence of Congressional legislative initiatives, it puts the Republican candidate in a difficult spot regarding the Latino vote.
    This is true, but can you imagine any future President reversing this action and ripping children from the arms of their parents who were promised that they could stay in the country? I highly doubt any President could get away with that. The demographics are changing in this country. That would be political suicide for them.
    Schmidt Wrote:The Tea Party will vet their candidates in the primary process, and they will be the ones shooting themselves in the foot. I don't think McConnell has the stomach for this fight.
    I don't think he does either. He is a savvy politician. I think he is a terrible person, but I will at least give him that.
    Schmidt Wrote:Ultimately it might force the House and Senate to take a vote on some kind of compromise legislation, which Obama could always veto if it doesn't meet his minimum criteria.
    They already have a comprise piece of legislation. It is called Senate Bill 744. I encourage the House of Representatives to hold an up or down vote on it.
    Schmidt Wrote:Anyway, getting back to my question, Republicans have raised the "I" word...impeachment if he goes down this path. There are many in the House who would love to tarnish Obama's record with the "impeached" label, even if the Senate doesn't go along. And with Fox News controlling public opinion, it is something that they just feel they can do without tarnishing themselves.
    I would love to see the House go down this disastrous path. They would be committing political suicide if they did such an idiotic move. For starters--they will have to find a high crime and misdemeanor to charge him with. That will take months, if not years of investigations. Then they will have to ask themselves how it went the last time they tried to impeach a President. I don't think the Boehner is that stupid, but who the hell knows? It might tarnish Obama's short term legacy, but look at how it worked out for Clinton. He is adored throughout the world and is the head of a worldwide global initiative. He is loved by both democrats and republicans. I don't think the republicans are stupid enough to make that same mistake twice...but who the hell knows?
  • Center Left Democrat
    Democrat
    Flagstaff, AZ
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    Schmidt:



    jared summed up the best approach for Obama in his post of November 6, since the best approach from this point on is for Obama to simply do the right thing, and not worry about election results.

    There are bound to be fierce fights on immigration, and the "outrage" will ramp up when he vetoes the Keystone XL if it happens to get passed by the Senate. Charles Blow provided a good summary of the political dynamics in this morning's New York Times:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/17/opinion/charles-m-blow-partisanship-breaks-the-government.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=c-column-top-span-region&region=c-column-top-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-top-span-region

    When the right wing crazy people are threatening to either impeach Obama or shut down the government over immigration, it's obvious that they can't be reasoned with.

    I'm still on the mailing list from my former Congressman, the Tea Party Republican who moved to Prescott because there are more Republicans there. His top 4 priorities are:

    1) secure the border - no amnesty
    2) replace Obamacare
    3) simplify the tax code
    4) protect our country from over-regulation

    The tool that he wants to use to stop Obama's protection of 5,000,000 people who would otherwise be deported is to have Hal Rodgers, the House Appropriations Chairman, deny any funding "for the implementation of any executive action that would grant amnesty".

    Somehow, Obama is going to win on this issue, and it's going to be very interesting to see what tools he uses to accomplish his goals.
  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    Secure the Border....Ok! Let's add more fences, patrols, and border operations. I'm good with that. Amnesty, yes for those already part of the social makeup of America. Amnesty for parents with legally borne children in America. Amnesty for all immigrants that have worked successfully in America, especially professionals and those that have established businesses. There needs to be a judicial review on those immigrants that have felonies and tried by our courts in America. Any immigrant that needs to become an American citizen needs to pass our citizenship test and announce an oath of record by an official with the US Government. I'm all for granting grace in most all situations for immigrants that honestly desire to be American. Securing the Border, I don't see it as an unsurmountable issue, just a bunch a Republican obstructionism standing in the way.

    Replace Obamacare.........it's already been done! It's called the Affordable Care Act (ACA). "OBAMACARE" is just a Republican trick to obstruct anything good for America.

    Simplify the Tax Code........YES..Yes..yes! Flat tax, maybe, but for sure remove all Corporate Tax loopholes. Remove all loop-holes and make the tax form a one sheet showing deductions (negotiable) for medical, investment loss, and home interest. Everything else is taxable at a flat tax rate for everyone, rich or poor. To hell with the rich crying alligator tears, no...that's elephant tears for paying more than the poor. Answer, it's the same rate.

    Protect country from over regulation.........if anything America needs to be regulated more. Guns, drugs, pollution, environment destruction, toxic waste, and many others.............I mean America has a lot to answer for in the continued decay of having their will to extol their rampant disease on everyone else. It's like a bad neighbor. You either move or you call the cops on him. Just keep your trash and garbage to yourself and don't let it come into my environment. Once my property values begin to suffer, I will protest and make your life miserable. There has to be regulation and the more America regulates than the better everyone stays complacent in a community of good air, water and places to raise families. Which is as it should be. Keystone Pipeline..........regulate the hell out of it, if it gets passed. I don't like it, especially where very few Americans are receiving any benefit from it. This is a Canadian thing and just like a bad neighbor, the Canadians are being struck from my Santa Claus list.


  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    that guy in Arizona Wrote:
    The tool that he wants to use to stop Obama's protection of 5,000,000 people who would otherwise be deported is to have Hal Rodgers, the House Appropriations Chairman, deny any funding "for the implementation of any executive action that would grant amnesty".

    Somehow, Obama is going to win on this issue, and it's going to be very interesting to see what tools he uses to accomplish his goals.
    Arizona -- Yes it is sad that Republicans have lost all sight of what is good for America, and in looking for ways to "hurt Obama" or punish him, any actions that they undertake have the effect of hurting America. Furthermore, splitting up families by deporting fathers or mothers of children is not the "Christian" thing to do...it's inconsistent with their "family values" preaching. Hate blocks out all critical thinking and empathy.

    Anyway, I don't know how Congress could defund the non-deportation of some 5 million people. It would seem to me there would be cost savings in not going through the deportation process and allowing family members to stay.

    Also, securing the border is an impossible to achieve goal, and to put that as a prerequisite for consideration of any immigration bill is just another excuse to delay.

    And the idea of "amnesty" has been addressed many times before. Here's a quote from the past:

    "I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and who have lived here even though sometime back they may have entered illegally." – Ronald Reagan, Oct. 21, 1984 debate on an immigration bill being considered in Congress.

    I guess Ronald Reagan would be impeached for trying to implement those views as well.
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    Let's face it - Obama is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't !
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Schmidt Wrote:Anyway, I don't know how Congress could defund the non-deportation of some 5 million people. It would seem to me there would be cost savings in not going through the deportation process and allowing family members to stay.

    Also, securing the border is an impossible to achieve goal, and to put that as a prerequisite for consideration of any immigration bill is just another excuse to delay.
    Two very good points. How do you prevent an agency or President from doing nothing? What exact funding would they be withholding if they follow through with this threat? It goes to show the differences between sound bites and reality.

    I also agree that it is impossible to secure either of our borders. The amount of manpower that would require isn't even close to being available. Build a ten foot fence and I'll show you an eleven foot ladder. What do republicans want? Thousands of heavily armed border guards forming a human chain link fence for 1,933 miles? While we're at it, why don't we build a 3,987 mile fence along our northern border, as well?

    We all know that the Republicans are not negotiating in good faith when it comes to immigration. If they were then they would take up the comprehensive and bipartisan bill the Senate passed and give it an up or down vote. Fourteen republicans voted on that bill and it includes everything even the most conservative republican wants in it. What more can they possibly want other than to keep President Obama from having two legacy defining issues?
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:
    Schmidt Wrote:Anyway, I don't know how Congress could defund the non-deportation of some 5 million people. It would seem to me there would be cost savings in not going through the deportation process and allowing family members to stay.

    Also, securing the border is an impossible to achieve goal, and to put that as a prerequisite for consideration of any immigration bill is just another excuse to delay.
    Two very good points. How do you prevent an agency or President from doing nothing? What exact funding would they be withholding if they follow through with this threat? It goes to show the differences between sound bites and reality.

    I also agree that it is impossible to secure either of our borders. The amount of manpower that would require isn't even close to being available. Build a ten foot fence and I'll show you an eleven foot ladder. What do republicans want? Thousands of heavily armed border guards forming a human chain link fence for 1,933 miles? While we're at it, why don't we build a 3,987 mile fence along our northern border, as well?

    We all know that the Republicans are not negotiating in good faith when it comes to immigration. If they were then they would take up the comprehensive and bipartisan bill the Senate passed and give it an up or down vote. Fourteen republicans voted on that bill and it includes everything even the most conservative republican wants in it. What more can they possibly want other than to keep President Obama from having two legacy defining issues?
    "Jared, Schmidt" absolutely correct; it does not matter how much money or fence you throw at it; things will continue as it has since the civil war.
    An other not so nice solution is as we we do on the Pakistan border; sent some drones and shoot them down; why are we allowed to do it there and not here? Just kidding.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Among the Republican options to "punish" Obama for taking executive action on immigration reform, the one that seems to be seriously under consideration is the defunding of the specific department in charge of immigration: the Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Instead of shutting down the entire government in December, their plan is that in the new year with a Republican controlled Senate, Obama will veto a Republican bill that specifically defunds just the Department of Homeland Security, the effect of which will be a mini shutdown of that department... and any blame will be pinned on Obama.

    Washington Post: Can Republicans shut down the government without actually shutting down the government?

    Republicans do not want immigration reform in any form. They are ruthless in their pursuit of that goal and to also to punish Obama (to satisfy the blood lust of their Tea Party base). If it's not immigration reform, then it will be something else, and in that pursuit, anything goes. The question is: Is this plan good for America or the Republicans? And those are two mutually exclusive options. Party first.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Dutch Wrote: An other not so nice solution is as we we do on the Pakistan border; sent some drones and shoot them down; why are we allowed to do it there and not here? Just kidding.
    You say you are just kidding, but we already have drones 'patrolling' the US-Mexico border. Thankfully they are unarmed, but who knows what a Republican president would do with the same power to deploy them?

    Associated Press Source: Drones Patrol Half of Mexico Border

    What do we have to show for those drones? Next to nothing. 92 percent of their missions come back with absolutely nothing; 4 percent are false alarms; and 2 percent are inconclusive. That means two percent of these 'missions' show evidence of individuals trying to cross the border into America.

    This is for a couple of reasons. First and foremost--people don't want to come to America anymore. This will come back to bite us in the ass once we run out of people to pick our apples and shuck our corn; or once we run out of people willing to work for slave labor wages in the hotel and landscaping industries.

    Secondly, this proves that our undocumented immigrant faux crisis has absolutely nothing to do with 'securing our border,' but everything to do with xenophobic individuals in this country who see the demographics changing and are terrified that they are no longer going to be the majority race. That is why they talk of self deportation; changing the Constitution to put an asterisk next to Section I of the 14th Amendment that guarantees birthright citizenship; and 'taking their country back.' This immigration debate has nothing to do with actually securing our borders, but has everything to do with white Americas fear of no longer being a predominately white nation.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Schmidt Wrote: Among the Republican options to "punish" Obama for taking executive action on immigration reform, the one that seems to be seriously under consideration is the defunding of the specific department in charge of immigration: the Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Instead of shutting down the entire government in December, their plan is that in the new year with a Republican controlled Senate, Obama will veto a Republican bill that specifically defunds just the Department of Homeland Security, the effect of which will be a mini shutdown of that department... and any blame will be pinned on Obama.
    Republicans make absolutely zero sense. They want to defund the department tasked with keeping our nation safe and expect to have the blame fall on Obama? What fairytale world do they think they are living in? Their retort to President Obama's executive action on immigration would be to shut down the agency tasked with keeping our borders secure? I know they are an idiotic group of individuals, but I couldn't imagine they would be that stupid.
    Schmidt Wrote: Republicans do not want immigration reform in any form. They are ruthless in their pursuit of that goal and to also to punish Obama (to satisfy the blood lust of their Tea Party base). If it's not immigration reform, then it will be something else, and in that pursuit, anything goes. The question is: Is this plan good for America or the Republicans? And those are two mutually exclusive options. Party first.
    I agree. They just can not give Obama a second legacy defining piece of legislation. I am by no means a huge fan of SB 744, but it is the literal definition of bipartisan. It militarizes our border, just as the Republicans demanded, and it also provides a brutally difficult pathway to citizenship for the millions of undocumented individuals in this country. This is by no means a liberal bill, so I honestly don't know what else the Republicans want. They obviously never meant to negotiate this issue in good faith and they will also lose the Hispanic vote for a generation, if not longer. That's good news for Democrats, but bad news for America that Republicans are so focused on hatred that they can't actually do the job they were tasked to do, which is LEGISLATE!
  • Liberal
    Other Party
    Llos Angeles, CA
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    My only issue with some of these arguments are as follows: 1. the last time I checked illegal immigration is s a crime....there are penalties for such crimes. 2. Do we forgive drug dealers, fraud, tax evation etc. etc.. simply because they have children here? These are also non-violent crimes.
    Do we grant them amnesty as well?

    You can't pick and choose what crimes you want to enforce simply because of you feel bad. If you don't like the law then change it...until then, it's the law. I love when "My" people say, " I don't do anything wrong, I just crossed the border"....which is a crime and exactly the reason your'e being deported


    At some point there's going to be consequences for your actions. You came here, you had children, you planted roots here, you brought down all our wages because you will work for nothing and let your employer pimp you......That's not my problem. You should have considered that when you crossed over.... You didn't.



    Again................CHOICES