Obama will halt deportation of up to 5 million immigrants


    Obama spurns GOP with expansive immigration orders

    By JULIE PACE
    AP White House Correspondent

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Spurning furious Republicans, President Barack Obama unveiled expansive executive actions on immigration Thursday night to spare nearly 5 million people in the U.S. illegally from deportation and refocus enforcement efforts on ``felons, not families.''

    The moves, affecting mostly parents and young people, marked the most sweeping changes to the nation's fractured immigration laws in nearly three decades and set off a fierce fight with Republicans over the limits of presidential powers.

    In a televised address to the nation, Obama defended the legality of his actions and challenged GOP lawmakers to focus their energy not on blocking his actions, but on approving long-stalled legislation to take its place.

    ``To those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill,'' Obama said.

    Despite the president's broad measures, more than half of the 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally will remain in legal limbo.
  • FACT CHECK: Obama's claims on illegal immigration
    Alica A. Caldwell and Erica Werner, Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama made some notable omissions Thursday night in his remarks about the unilateral actions he's taking on immigration.

    A look at his statements and how they compare with the facts:

    OBAMA: "It does not grant citizenship, or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive - only Congress can do that. All we're saying is we're not going to deport you."

    THE FACTS: He's saying, and doing, more than that. The changes also will make those covered eligible for work permits, allowing them to be employed in the country legally and compete with citizens and legal residents for better-paying jobs.

    ___

    OBAMA: "Although this summer, there was a brief spike in unaccompanied children being apprehended at our border, the number of such children is now actually lower than it's been in nearly two years."

    THE FACTS: The numbers certainly surged this year, but it was more than a "brief spike." The number of unaccompanied children apprehended at the border has been on the rise since the 2011 budget year. That year about 16,000 children were found crossing the border alone. In 2012, the Border Patrol reported more than 24,000 children, followed by more than 38,800 in 2013. In the last budget year, more than 68,361 children were apprehended.

    ___

    OBAMA: "Overall, the number of people trying to cross our border illegally is at its lowest level since the 1970s. Those are the facts."

    THE FACTS: Indeed, in the 2014 budget year the Border Patrol made 486,651 arrests of border crossers, among the fewest since the early 1970s. But border arrests have been on the rise since 2011.

    The decline in crossings is not purely, or perhaps even primarily, due to the Obama administration. The deep economic recession early in his presidency and the shaky aftermath made the U.S. a less attractive place to come for work. The increase in arrests since 2011 also can be traced in part to the economy — as the recovery improved, more people came in search of opportunity.

    ___

    OBAMA: "When I took office, I committed to fixing this broken immigration system. And I began by doing what I could to secure our borders."

    THE FACTS: He overlooked the fact that he promised as a candidate for president in 2008 to have an immigration bill during his first year in office and move forward on it quickly. He never kept that promise to the Latino community.
  • We'll have a discussion of Obama's immigration speech soon. For now, here's what a rush of legal workers could mean: mktplc.org/1xTvEQ0
  • "What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal—that all of us are created equal." —President Obama #ImmigrationAction
  • "My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too." —President Obama #ImmigrationAction
  • What dictatorships in the 1980's are you referring to?
  • 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.
    by Christine Neumann-Ortiz via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 11/20/2014 4:42:41 PM
  • What does Voces have planned to inform immigrants in this region about the president’s plan?
    by David Haynes via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 11/20/2014 4:38:33 PM
  • And here's a link to a New Republic article this week that explains how Presidents Reagan and Bush acted unilaterally, as Obama plans to do, on immigration policy.
    by David Haynes via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 11/20/2014 4:37:28 PM
  • Friends of mine just recently took their oath of citizenship after 7 years and thousands of dollars in legal fees....that needs to change. The limits to the number of Visa applications accepted only serves to protect the US from onslaughts of refugees that overwhelm our social services and reduce employment opportunities for legal residents. Why should the rights and opportunities of citizens and legal residents be diminished because of the demands of illegal immigrants?
    by Mike Arnold via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 11/20/2014 4:35:36 PM
  • 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.
    by Christine Neumann-Ortiz via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 11/20/2014 4:34:20 PM
  • Here's a link to Gov. Walker's remarks to Republican governors.
    by David Haynes via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 11/20/2014 4:29:59 PM
  • 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?
    by David Haynes via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 11/20/2014 4:27:11 PM
  • One suggestion I have for people who have entered the USA illegally is allow them to become residents but not citizens, that way they would not be able to vote. Seems like a fair restriction to those who broke our immigration laws.
  • Why even have a border or immigration laws if people are allowed to enter illegally and ultimately be rewarded? What is curious is that the immigration laws of Mexico are harsher than those of the USA.
  • 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.
    by Christine Neumann-Ortiz via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 11/20/2014 4:25:10 PM
  • Your basic premise is that those adults that chose to break the law should be rewarded by allowing them to circumvent our law because they gave birth to a child in the US. This has led to the humanitarian crisis of unaccompanied children crossing the border. Children that have been killed, injured, forced into the sex and drug trades....how does this help them?
    by Mike Arnold via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 11/20/2014 4:22:42 PM
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