July 10, 2014
President Barack Obama called on Congress to swiftly approve nearly $4 billion in supplemental funding to deal with the influx of unaccompanied minors at the Southwest border Wednesday, saying lawmakers need to set aside politics to solve the problem.
“Are we more interested in politics, or are we more interested in solving the problem,” Obama said in statement late in the day after a meeting with Texas Governor Rick Perry and local faith leaders in Dallas to deal with the months-long crisis.
April 7, 2014
NY Times, 4/5/14
If President Obama means what he says about wanting an immigration system that reflects American values, helps the economy and taps the yearnings of millions of Americans-in-waiting, he is going to have to do something about it — soon and on his own. It has been frustrating to watch his yes-we-can promises on immigration reform fade to protestations of impotence and the blaming of others. All Mr. Obama has been saying lately is: No, in fact, we can’t, because Republicans and the law won’t let me.
Mr. Obama is correct when he complains that long-term immigration repairs have been throttled in Congress. Neo-nativist Republicans fixated on mass deportation have blocked a worthy bipartisan bill. But Mr. Obama has compounded this failure by clinging to a coldblooded strategy of ramped-up enforcement on the same people he has promised to help through legislation that he has failed to achieve.
With nearly two million removals in the last five years, the Obama administration is deporting people at a faster pace than has taken place under any other president. This enormously costly effort was meant to win Republican support for broader reform. But all it has done is add to the burden of fear, family disruption and lack of opportunity faced by 11 million people who cannot get right with the law. Because of Mr. Obama’s enforcement blitz, more than 5,000 children have ended up in foster care.
March 18, 2014
Liberty Voice, 3/16/14
President Obama is meeting with Latino lawmakers about immigration reform. In an attempt to pacify immigration advocates, the President held a meeting of prominent Latino legislators at the White House. Democrat lawmakers such as Representative Luis Gutierrez, D-IL, Representative Ruben Hinojosa, D-TX, the current chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and House Democrat Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra, D-CA, attended the meeting and sought ways of altering current immigration laws.
The President told the congressmen that he was concerned about the pain familiessuffered when separated by immigration policies. He will be asking Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson to explore the Department’s practices and find a humane way of dealing with illegal immigrants while staying within the confines of the law. A spokesman from the White House declined to answer how or what the government could do to alter the current policy or when Secretary Johnson was to report back to the President with his recommendations.
February 19, 2014
President Barack Obama is almost certainly about to be pressured once again by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to approve the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, USA Today reports. Obama is heading to Mexico for the one-day North American Leadership Summit, and the two leaders will meet on the sidelines. But Harper won’t likely hear anything new from his American counterpart. “I think what President Obama will do is explain to (Harper) where we are in the review of the Keystone pipeline and indicate, of course, that we will let our Canadian friends know when we’ve made a decision,” said a senior administration official.
Also on the cross-border front: Obama on Wednesday will sign an executive order mandating the completion of a government portal for small businesses to submit import and export information. The White House says the electronic portal will allow U.S. companies to better compete in the global economy. Read more about the International Trade Data System in the Hill.
February 5, 2014
Washington Post, 2/3/14
Barack Obama has all but conceded his lame-duck status. His State of the Union address was bereft of big ideas. And his declaration that he will use his “pen and a phone” to issue a raft of executive orders is an admission of political impotence — a presidency reduced to small-ball initiatives like creating “myRA” savings accounts and raising the minimum wage for federal contractors.
The one exception — his one last shot at a major legislative achievement — was comprehensive immigration reform. But that isn’t happening either. And the reason can be summed up in one word: Obamacare. “Comprehensive” is Washington-speak for “big.” And in the wake of the Obamacare debacle, no one is interested in anything big from Barack Obama.
January 22, 2014
The White House is trying to dial down the partisan rhetoric on immigration — and it’s asking its allies to do the same.
In meetings with immigration reform advocates, White House officials have said President Barack Obama won’t threaten to take unilateral executive action — at least not yet — and that he wants to give House Republicans some breathing room to try to pass legislation this year, said immigration advocates who have participated in the sessions.
January 16, 2014
Latin Times, 01/14/2014
Reuters reported on Monday that President Barack Obama will travel on February 19 to Toluca, Mexico, where he will meet with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto at a summit of North American leaders. When Obama touches down on Mexican soil, Animal Politico notes, it will be the fifth time since he entered the White House in 2008 that the president has done so, making Mexico the country he has most frequently visited – eclipsing France, to which he has traveled on four occasions.
The first two visits came in 2009, during the tenure of now-ex-president Felipe Calderón, with whom Obama discussed US-Mexico cooperation on the war against drugs and responses to the financial crisis in which the United States remained sunk. Nearly three years later, in 2012, they met again to talk another financial crisis – the one over European debt – but last May, when newly elected Peña Nieto greeted Obama, there was much talk of turning the page in US-Mexico relations. Peña Nieto had campaigned on a promise to scale back the military presence in hotbeds of cartel activity and aim less for high-profile kingpin arrests – which often triggered fights for control in the power vacuums it left – than his predecessor.