December 12, 2013
With immigration reform off the table in 2013, activists are planning to converge on Washington one last time to pressure lawmakers for action – and assure them they’ll be back next year.
Advocates of a reform bill that want to see a pathway to citizenship for the roughly 11 million immigrants living illegally in the United States have gotten more aggressive in their efforts to convince the House Republican leadership to put a bill to a vote, stopping by their homes, offices and even breakfast spots, uninvited, to visit and pray. They’ve even heckled President Obama, who shares many of their objectives, asking him to unilaterally halt deportations.
December 11, 2013
Houston Chronicle, 12/10/2013
Speaking to the annual conference of the Republican Governors Association, meeting in Arizona recently, Gov. Rick Perry was unrealistically optimistic when he predicted that this nation’s grinding debate over immigration reform is likely to end in the not-too-distant future, thanks to Mexico’s economic advances. Comprehensive immigration reform is much more complicated than that, and yet there’s a kernel of truth in the governor’s observations.
Perry spoke specifically of the effort by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to reform his country’s energy laws to lure greater investment from outside oil and gas companies. The end result would be not only increased energy production but also more jobs for Mexicans.
December 6, 2013
International Business Times, 12/5/2013
More than two dozen Democrats on Thursday sent a letter to President Barack Obama, calling on him to help restart the immigration reform debate in Congress by suspending deportation. They also asked the nation’s chief executive to go a step further and expand “deferred action,” a program that would grant these immigrants reprieve.
The lawmakers’ formal request to the president came more than a week after he was heckled at a California event by an immigrant who asked that Obama use his executive power to protect immigrants from the laws under what they describe as a broken system.
December 5, 2013
By Lamhee Chen, Bloomberg, 12/5/2013
President Barack Obama’s suggestion that he’d be willing to entertain piecemeal efforts at immigration reform is a devilish trap for Republicans. The best way to avoid it is to agree to a comprehensive set of reforms to fix our broken immigration system.
From a policy perspective, some reform would certainly be superior to the status quo — basic changes, such as better tailoring guest worker and visa programs to the needs of our economy and improving border security, are sorely needed. But such partial change is a dangerous political trap for Republicans.
December 4, 2013
USA Today, 12/4/2013
Four immigrant rights activists ended their 22-day fast Tuesday on the National Mall and were immediately replaced with eight others who pledged to continue the fast to try to persuade Congress to pass immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship for the 12 million people living illegally in the United States.
The four activists — Cristian Avila of Mi Familia Vota in Arizona, Lisa Sharon Harper of Sojourners in Washington, D.C., Dae Joong Yoon of the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium in Los Angeles, and Eliseo Medina of the Service Employees International Union — took their first bites of bread from a priest before being led away to be checked by doctors.
December 3, 2013
The Washington Post, 12/3/2013
Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) agreed Tuesday to join other activists in an ongoing fast designed to compel the House of Representatives to begin debating proposals to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws.
At a ceremony on the Mall two blocks from the U.S. Capitol, Kennedy ceremoniously began his fast by accepting a small cross from Eliseo Medina, a longtime immigration rights activist and labor leader who is concluding a 22-day fast Tuesday.
Medina’s fast will also be continued by Rev. Jim Wallis, of Sojourners. Kennedy plans to fast through midday Wednesday and “pass it on” to other activists tomorrow, he said in brief comments to reporters.
November 27, 2013
San Francisco Chronicle, 11/25/2013
President Obama issued an impassioned call Monday for Congress to pass immigration reform during a visit to San Francisco that – in true city-by-the-bay fashion – included everything from a nod to Batkid to an exchange with a protester who pleaded with him to halt all immigrant deportations.
Obama’s frank conversation with the protester came during an invitation-only address before 400 people at a Chinatown recreation center. Later, at a sold-out fundraiser at the SFJazz Center, the president again found himself in conversation with a shouting audience member who urged him to bypass congressional Republicans and use executive orders to accomplish major reforms.
November 27, 2013
The Los Angeles Times, 11/26/2013
More than 100 people pelted U.S. Border Patrol agents with rocks and bottles during a rowdy confrontation Sunday afternoon along the U.S.-Mexico border, federal authorities said.
Nobody was seriously injured and it’s not clear whether the crowd was trying to enter the U.S. illegally or hold a demonstration, but the sight of a large crowd surging beyond the border rattled nerves.
November 26, 2013
The New York Times, 11/25/2013
President Obama is often heckled, but it is rare for a guest who is part of a White House-approved backdrop to shout out a protest while the president is in mid-speech.
But that is what happened here on Monday when Mr. Obama called on Congress to pass an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws.
“Mr. Obama, my family has been separated for 19 months now!” yelled a young man who stood with others on the riser behind the president at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center.
November 26, 2013
It’s pretty clear the House of Representatives is not going to take up immigration reform this year.
Even after President Barack Obama said he was willing to consider immigration legislation in pieces instead of one large bill — which House Speaker John Boehner has suggested – just a handful of workdays remain for the House this year.
Obama’s concession might open the door for the House to consider the issue next year, but it’s going to take more than the president’s backing.