Obama to head to Mexico in February

January 16, 2014

obama_nieto_featureThe Washington Times, 01/13/2014

President Obama will travel to Toluca, Mexico, on Feb. 19 for a meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the White House announced Monday.

The gathering of North American leaders will focus on “issues important to the daily lives of all of North America’s people, including economic competitiveness, entrepreneurship, trade and investment and citizen security,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters

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Turning the Tide on Deportations?

January 16, 2014

hands in handcuffsAULA Blog, 01/16/2014

U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) recently released statistics showing that deportations in fiscal year 2013 hit an all-time low since Obama took office in 2009, but the drop is apparently not yet a harbinger of a policy shift.  Removals fell slightly from a record high of 410,000 in 2012 to just under 370,000.  News of the first decline during Obama’s tenure comes as he has been under growing pressure from immigration advocates and some members of Congress to use his executive powers to bring removals to a halt.  But the slight decline can be attributed to several factors:

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Controversial nomination at Department of Homeland Security goes to Senate floor

December 12, 2013

500px-US_Department_of_Homeland_Security_Seal.svgThe Washington Post, 12/11/2013

President Obama’s nominee for the No. 2 spot at the Department of Homeland Security advanced to the full Senate for consideration after winning a vote Wednesday from a deeply divided Senate panel.

The Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee made a party-line decision after a Republican senator unsuccessfully sought a delay, in part by revealing previously undisclosed official findings of problems with a visa program the nominee administers.

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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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