STATUS OF IMMIGRATION REFORM

download (19)We have seen a lot of ups and downs with the immigration reform bill. It appeared there was a real chance for a comprehensive bill last July which would address a number of issues. However, since that time, Senator Rubio has changed his position of supporting a comprehensive plan in favor of taking the major issues step by step. Of course, many in Congress support that idea because they remember what happened in the last amnesty bill. The border was not controlled and now the situation is worse. With the problems in the Affordable Health Care Act, and the “lame duck” status of the President either here already, or about to be here, it is questionable at this time that Congress will address the immigration issue.

Last week, the White house would not rule out future executive orders to achieve immigration reform, although for the time being the President is acknowledging that congressional action is needed for comprehensive reform.  He stated that if he could solve all of the immigration problems without passing laws in Congress, then he would do so, but “we’re also a nation of laws. That’s part of our tradition”. Activists have been pressuring the President to act without Congress, as he has done for “Dreamers”, and other immigrants facing deportation. In fact, the Department of Homeland Security has just announced another change. Spouses, children and parents of active duty members of the U.S.
Armed Forces, the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve and former members of the U.S. military or Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve may now apply for “parole in place”. This means that if spouses, children or parents even entered the U.S. without inspection, they may apply for parole and, in many cases, this could lead to lawful permanent resident status.

The President was heckled during recent events in San Francisco while discussing immigration reform. Although there are many reasons to address immigration issues, it is our hope that the President will be reluctant to go too far in the use of Executive Orders and that he, instead, will work with Congress to bring about reform. He is right. This is a nation of laws and just because the issues are difficult does not mean our Chief Executive should simply do what is politically expedient.

 

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