Unlike shutdown, GOP says Democrats must bend on immigration

October 18, 2013

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants 2 participate in march for Immigrants and Mexicans protesting against Illegal Immigration reform by U.S. Congress, Los Angeles, CA, May 1, 2006USA Today, 10/17/2013

Before the bill to end the budget impasse even hit President Obama’s desk Wednesday, he and congressional Democrats had pivoted to what they hope is the next big legislative battle: an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws including citizenship for the nation’s 12 million undocumented immigrants.

“I look forward to the next venture, which is making sure we do immigration reform,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said late Wednesday.

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GOP skeptical Obama will negotiate on immigration

October 17, 2013

Barack_Obama_being_briefed_on_swine_flu_oubreak_4-29The Washington Times, 10/16/2013

Now that a temporary solution to the partial government shutdown and debt limit are at hand, President Obama says immigration is next — but House Republicans said that’s not likely.

Rep. Raul R. Labrador, Idaho Republican, who had been part of immigration negotiations in the House before dropping out, said after Mr. Obama refused to negotiate with the GOP over spending and debt, he sees no reason to trust the White House on immigration now.

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Immigration advocates deliver cantaloupes to House GOP lawmakers

August 2, 2013

Migrant farmworkersThe Washington Post, 8/2/2013

The House is leaving Washington for a five-week recess without holding votes on any legislation regarding immigration reform, but not before hundreds of lawmakers received a fruity parting gift.

Responding to recent comments by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) — arguably the most outspoken GOP critic of immigration reform — activists delivered cantaloupes Thursday to the offices of the 224 lawmakers who recently voted in favor of King’s proposal that would force the Obama administration to resume the deportations of children of illegal immigrants.

King’s proposal was successfully added to a Homeland Security appropriations bill in June when 221 Republicans and three Democrats voted in favor of it.

More recently, King has earned the ire of Republicans, Democrats and immigrant advocates for suggesting that undocumented immigrants will never be legalized because of the high number of undocumented immigrants who carry drugs across the border.

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Op-ed: Winning the Next Immigration Battle

February 13, 2013

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants 2 participate in march for Immigrants and Mexicans protesting against Illegal Immigration reform by U.S. Congress, Los Angeles, CA, May 1, 2006By Edward Alden, Foreign Affairs, 2/11/2013

U.S. President Barack Obama has made reform of the nation’s immigration laws his top priority this year. But to succeed, he will need to overcome the old adage “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” The last time Congress passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, it did not work out quite as promised. Indeed, rarely has a piece of congressional legislation failed as spectacularly as did the 1986 bill. It was intended to hold back a growing tide of illegal immigration into the United States but did nothing of the sort.

The population of illegal immigrants in the United States, which was somewhat over three million at the time the bill was enacted, surged to an estimated 12 million by 2008. Today, there are about 11 million in the United States without authorization. The epic failure of the 1980s sowed mistrust between Congress and successive presidents, and persuaded many lawmakers that immigration reform does not deserve a second chance. As Representative Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who chairs the immigration subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee, put it in early February, after listing the unmet promises of the 1986 bill: “Why should we believe you now?”

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Op-ed: Jeb Bush and Clint Bolick: Solving the Immigration Puzzle

January 25, 2013

immigration marchBy Jeb Bush and Clint Bolick, The Wall Street Journal, 1/24/2013

The nation’s capital is awash with ideas about how to fix America’s immigration policy. The sudden ferment on this issue, which was largely dormant since efforts at comprehensive reform were torpedoed five years ago, is as welcome as it is overdue. The growing consensus on both sides of the political aisle that something needs to be done should not be squandered, for such opportunities are rare and fleeting.

Some policy makers are calling for piecemeal changes—such as issuing visas for high-skilled workers and investors, or conferring legal status on immigrants who were illegally brought into the country as children. Congress should avoid such quick fixes and commit itself instead to comprehensive immigration reform.

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Unauthorized Immigrants: 11.1 Million in 2011

December 7, 2012

Pew Hispanic Center, 12/6/2012

pew-hispanic-center_logoThere were 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. in March 2011, unchanged from the previous two years and a continuation of the sharp decline in this population since its peak in 2007, according to estimates by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.

The estimate for 2011 is not statistically different from totals for 2010 (11.2 million) or 2009 (11.1 million).1 The number of unauthorized immigrants peaked in 2007 at 12 million, and the decline since then has been the first significant decrease following two decades of growth.

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Pro-immigration conservative activists plan their strategy

December 6, 2012

The Washington Post, 12/3/2012

immigration marchFor years, pro-immigration conservative activists have tried with little success to gain an audience with top Republicans in Washington.

But since last month’s election, with the GOP’s dismal performance among Hispanics, that has started to change. On Tuesday, more than 250 activists plan to come to Washington for a debut of sorts, hosting a news conference and strategy session before heading to Capitol Hill for meetings with key lawmakers.

Group leaders say they hope to bring a fresh, outsiders’ perspective to the debate, with testimonials from rural and suburban sheriffs, local preachers, even the director of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association.

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Young Immigrants Say It’s Obama’s Time to Act

December 1, 2012

The New York Times, 12/01/2012

immigration marchThis time the young immigrants are the rising force, and they seek legislation to give them a direct and permanent path to citizenship. But recalling that Mr. Obama also promised at the start of his first term to move swiftly on immigration overhaul, they say their attitude toward him is wait-and-see.

This weekend, United We Dream will gather more than 600 leaders (most still without legal status) from 30 states at a meeting in Kansas City, Mo., to work out their strategy to keep the heat on the White House and Congress during the coming immigration fight.

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House Passes Immigration Reform, STEM ACt May Head to Senate

November 30, 2012

Fox News Latino, 11/30/2012

 immigration marchIn the first post-election effort to reform U.S. immigration policy, the House on Friday approved a Republican-sponsored measure, STEM Jobs Act, by a margin of 245 to 139.

The vote fell primarily along party lines, and followed an unsuccessful, last-minute move by Democrats to push through another version of the STEM visa bill that would keep the diversity lottery, which the Republican bill eliminates. Republicans cast 218 votes in favor of their STEM bill, but only 27 Democrats did so. Democrats cast 134 votes against it, with only five Republicans voting “No.”

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Illegal immigration: Who’s applying for Obama’s ‘DREAM Act’ deferrals?

November 20, 2012

The Christian Science Monitor, 11/20/2012

About one-quarter of the young undocumented immigrants eligible for the two-year deportation deferral established by President Obama have applied since the program started Aug. 15.

Statistics released last week by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) gave the fullest portrait yet of who is applying, and they suggested that enthusiasm for the program was not dampened by the uncertainty caused by presidential election.

Republican nominee Mitt Romney had waffled on how he would handle the program, leading some immigration advocates to wonder if applicants might be wary of starting the process until the election was decided. But the data show the election had little effect on the process.

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