GOP: It's Obama versus the people
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, raises the rhetoric on President Obama's upcoming immigration announcement: 'By acting alone on immigration, the President isn't just going around Congress, he's going around the American people'
Thanks for the invitation. Sorry for the typos!
Hunger and oppression have always been factors that have contributed to people coming to this country. People migrate and settle and have family ties. That is true for many people who came in the 1980s (not that long ago really), and the devastation of war on the economy and promoting a culture of violence is real. I am not saying it is all the US's fault but much of the immigration debate does not look at what are the factors bringing people here. The North American free Trade Agreement strongly favored large businesses over working people or small businesses or farmers. Poverty went up dramatically in Mexico after NAFTA, but like the US the disparity between the wealthiest and th rest of us has increased dramatically. We have to have policies that address poverty egionally.
OK, we have to wrap up. Come back at 2:30 for The Heritage Foundation's John Malcolm.
I want to thank Christina Neumann-Ortiz of Voces de la Frontera for joining me this morning to chat about President Obama's immigration policy. Stop back at 2:30 this afternoon for a discussion with John Malcolm of The Heritage Foundation. He has written:
“…Obama [is] going against the will of Congress, which considered and rejected the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act on several occasions, including when both houses of Congress were controlled by the president’s party, and Reagan and Bush who made administrative corrections designed to carry out congressional intent.
“….In short, while Reagan and Bush worked closely with Congress to implement the comprehensive legislation that Congress had passed (in the case of Reagan) or would pass shortly thereafter (in the case of Bush), Obama is bypassing Congress entirely. He is unconstitutionally revising existing law and, without Congressional approval, imposing new ones that have been explicitly rejected by Congress time and time again, thereby setting himself up as a kingmaker (or king) on immigration policy.”
There is a great documentary film that I last saw with Father Bill Brennan and other Catholic priests who lived in Latin America in the 1980s and were witness to the horrors and abuses of the military, that our government supported. The film is called Harvest of Empire, and it is based on abook. I recommend it. Counrties such as Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador. It was precisely the sanctuary movement in the US that helped pass legalization for many people from Central America during that time, and that inspires our struggle today.
Also, Joe had a question earlier wondering which dictatorships you jhad in mind that the U.S. supported in the 1980s. Thanks.
Does Voces plan any political action planned? A march or rally?
There is also a watch party tonight for the President's announcement at Candela's on 26 and national. Across the country so many people are gathering in anticipation of the news.
We are organizing a informational community forum at South Division High School in Milwaukee this Saturday at 11am. The capacity is 800, so we already have plans for a second forum on December 6th. We are also coordinating with statewide allies as a resource to provide the information as broadly as possible, and sharing our experiences with each other once implementation moves forward. It is an opportunity to raise consciosuness of how we got here-through our activism and determination- and that the fight is not over.
There is false hype about the recent numbers of refugees coming into the US. The overall numbers of people coming into the US are less in size and less than the numbers of those returning. What is different is that we have seen the disturbing increase in organized crime in some countries in Latin America that have forced children to flee because of the level of abuse and violence. This is precisely why it makes no sense to use resources to target working class families that have ties to our country, instead of organized crime. Our own country's foreign policy- both trade and military support for dictatorships in the 1980s in Central America-have cntributed to the current migration from South to North. We need comprehensive regional solutions.
What does Voces have planned to inform immigrants in this region about the president’s plan?
The President is not using an authority that he does not have or that other Presidents have not used before him. President Reagan and President Bush used this authority to exempt 1.5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation. Governor Walker and more broadly the Republican Party cannot afford to alienate Latino voters they acknowledge they have to win over if they ever want to win the presidential election in 2016.
Christine, what do you make of the political reaction so far coming from President Obama's opponents on this issue? Gov. Scott Walker said he “would go to court” to block Obama’s move. Do you expect this to be tied up the courts? What do you think are the chances that what the president proposes actually will happen?
On the question of legality, what often comes to mind for me, is not an abstract idea but a Racine grandmother who is a legal permanent resident. She petitioned her chiklren over ten years ago, is now in her 70s, and is still waiting for the paperwork to come though to be reunited with her children in Mexico. She is not unique. The legal system is broken because we do not have enough visas and the backlogs for the countries where we have the greatest family and economic ties is backlogged. We need deperately a legal working system.
As a nation of immigrants, we must create a working and humane immigration system. Historically, for previous immigrants from Northen Europe, the standards were very minimal but severe-essentially survive the voyage. We have seen restrictions on immigration that have been lifted over the years that targetted the Irish, Greeks, Italians, Asians and others because these laws were unjust. We have a dysfucntional system because we have too few visas that are out of whack with our needs or reality. The struggle for citizenship has been a long and proud history for many different groups of people in this country, including African Americans and Native Americans.
Christine, we have a couple of questions from readers. I posted Mike's a moment ago; I'll post in a second one from Ian that basically ask the same thing: Why legalize people who committed illegal acts>
While we won't know for sure, it is public that the reforms will benefit 5 million, but exclude another 6 million. This is bittersweet for many, including myself. Those that will be protected from deportation and allowed to work legally includes parents of children who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents and who have lived in the US for at least 5 years. It also expands the 2012 program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that granted legalization to nearly 600,000 immigrant youth who were brought into the country as children. It would do this by expanding the criteria to include more people. However those that are excluded include immigrants with no children or parents who have children who are Dreamers (immigrant youth who came to the US at a young age). For example, one of our strongest members is a grandmother whose children qualified for DACA. She is helping to raise her US citizen grandchildren and has lived and worked in the US for nearly two decades. Grandparents should also be included.
You would like comprehensive reform legislation but that seems unlikely, given the partisanship in Congress, so do you think Obama has done enough, again based on what we know now? Apparently, for example, Obamacare won't be an option for the millions who would be spared deportation.
The well is already poisoned by Congress' failure to act. Executive Action is needed now because people's lives are being impacted in real ways by Congress' inaction. Every day, families live with the fear and reality that they could be separated from their kids, their spouse, or their extended family. ICE can come into your home and in front of your kids, take away a father, uncle, or other loved one. Families-often women with kids-are left struggling to make ends meet and trying to raise money for legal representation or bond, in some cases kids end up in foster care, not because their parents don't love them, but because we have a system that's broken. Families don't have the luxury of time till Congress decides that the political timing is right. The status quo is unacceptable.
Do you think the president has gone far enough?
While we won't know for sure till the announcement is official this evening, this represents a major victory for millions of families that have struggled for so long for relief and dignity. We want to help those families get informed on the criteria, apply, and use this as a motivation to continue the fight for full inclusion and ultimately passage of federal reform with a path to citizenship.
Based on what you know now, what do you think about the president’s plan?
Republicans warn Obama ahead of planned immigration action
Krishnadev Calamus, NPR
Republicans in Congress are warning President Obama against acting alone on immigration, hours ahead of a planned announcement by the president that could provide temporary relief to some of the 12 million immigrants in the country illegally.
Republicans say any unilateral action on immigration by the president would mean there is no chance of passing a comprehensive immigration overhaul in Congress.
"One of the saddest parts about what the president is going to do is he will poison the well and make it much, much harder if not impossible for us to make serious progress on our broken immigration system," Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Wednesday.
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., says the president through his planned executive action, is trying to "provoke" Republicans into battle.
"The smart thing is to find another way to deal with the president because he's trying to pick a bar fight and start one and that's too bad," Cole says.
The standoff comes as the government's budget authority is due to expire at midnight on Dec. 11. Republicans and Democrats on the appropriation committees are negotiating a spending bill that would keep the government running until the end of next September.
Republicans say they are not discussing another government shutdown, but NPR's Brakkton Booker tells our Newscast team that they are exploring options to block Obama, including stripping away the funding that would go toward the executive actions on immigration.
Obama, in a speech to the nation at 7 p.m. (Central) today, is expected to announce his steps to provide temporary relief to some immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. He also plans to address the issue Friday during remarks at a Las Vegas school, the site of a speech two years ago in which he called on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration legislation. Within five months of that speech, the Senate did just that – but the plan died in the GOP-controlled House.