Obama Calls for Quick Action on Immigration, and So Does a Heckler

November 26, 2013

obamaThe 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.

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4 ways immigration reform still could happen – or not

November 26, 2013

Statue of Liberty HorizCNN, 11/25/2013

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.

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Obama: ‘Long past time’ for immigration reform

November 26, 2013

Obama-immigration-reformMSNBC, 11/25/2013

President Obama reignited the debate on immigration reform on Monday, calling on Republicans to immediately take up the issue, which has been stalled in the House.

“It’s long past time to fix our broken immigration system,” the commander-in-chief said at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center in San Francisco, adding the only barrier is the “unwillingness of certain Republicans in Congress to catch up with the rest of the country.”

The House has failed to take up a Senate bill that passed in late June. Speaker John Boehner has said that he has “no intention” of debating the Senate proposal, and is instead pushing for a piecemeal approach. Some GOPers want stricter enforcement and tighter border security as preconditions to any new laws.

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Obama uses heckler to make point on immigration

November 26, 2013

Barack Obama speaking about swine flu

The Los Angeles Times, 11/25/2013

President Obama told a heckler who interrupted a speech on immigration Monday that he would not circumvent Congress and try to halt deportations by executive order because the U.S. is “a nation of laws.”

“Please use your executive order!” shouted the heckler, who was standing behind Obama on stage, close enough to be in the television camera shot, during an event in San Francisco’s Chinatown as the president began a two-day visit to California. Urging Obama to give immediate relief to those separated from their families at Thanksgiving, the man yelled, “You have the power to stop deportations!”

“Actually, I don’t,” Obama responded, signaling security personnel not to remove the heckler or other protesters who joined in the shouting. “These guys don’t need to go,” Obama said. “He can stay there.… I respect the passion of these young people.”

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Immigration Reform Bill 2013: Obama Says Piecemeal Is A Deal

November 20, 2013

President Barack Obama

International Business Times, 11/20/2013

U.S. President Barack Obama, who largely stayed on the sidelines as Congress attempted to pass comprehensive immigration reform this year, said on Tuesday that he’s open to the idea of House Republicans taking a piecemeal approach to passing the legislation.

Obama signaled his willingness to work with Republicans as high-ranking members of the House GOP insisted that they have a full plate for the remainder of the year and that a reform bill is dead in 2013.

Can Obama legalize 11 million immigrants on his own? Op-Ed

November 18, 2013

immigration marchThe Washington Post, 11/14/2013

It’s now looking extremely unlikely that Congress will enact immigration reform this year. And that raises a question: Could President Obama use his executive powers to effectively legalize some of the 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the United States?

This possibility has actually been raised several times before. Back in August, Sen. Marco Rubio warned House Republicans that if they don’t pass a bill, Obama will act on his own: “I believe that this president will be tempted, if nothing happens in Congress,” Rubio said, “to issue an executive order as he did for the Dream Act kids a year ago, where he basically legalizes 11 million people by the sign of a pen.”

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Obama relies on changes to immigration rules as chances dim that Congress will rewrite laws

November 18, 2013

obamaThe Washington Post, 11/15/2013

The Obama administration will allow some relatives of U.S. service members living in the country illegally to stay, according to a policy directive issued Friday.

The nine-page memorandum is the latest in a series of immigration policy changes made by President Barack Obama since he took office. The department has long had the power to stop deportations for relatives of military members and veterans, but Friday’s memo lays out how and when it can be used.

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Immigrants Closely Tied to Military Get Reprieve

November 18, 2013

Statue of Liberty HorizThe New York Times, 11/15/2013

The Obama administration issued a new policy on Friday that will allow immigrants in the United States illegally who are close relatives of active military troops and veterans to stay and move toward becoming permanent residents.

The long-awaited memorandum, coming after three years of deliberations by Department of Homeland Security officials, was an effort to untangle knots in immigration law that left many soldiers worried that their immigrant family members could be deported while they were deployed.

Obama Administration Doesn’t Know How to Pass Immigration Reform – Op Ed

November 12, 2013

President Barack Obama

The Atlantic Wire, 11/11/2013

House Republicans don’t want to do President Obama any favors, but he’s asking for one anyway. Though the White House needs the House to pass immigration reform, officials don’t know at all how to proceed — according to a Politico report, Obama has reached out to certain members of the House as well as conservative CEOs and former George W. Bush officials to try to gain ground. But White House officials haven’t had much of an agenda for those meetings besides “help.”

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Obama: Get immigration bill done this year

October 24, 2013

obama1USA Today, 10/24/2013

With the partial government shutdown in the past, President Obama renewed his call Thursday for an immigration bill.

“It’s good for our economy, it’s good for our national security,” Obama said in remarks at the White House. “It’s good for our people, and we should do it this year.”

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