Immigration Reform News 2014: GOP Continues To Resist Immigration Push
The Republican Party continues to push back against efforts to reform the immigration. In the latest bout on the House floor, Republicans passed legislature to prevent any attempts by the executive to aid undocumented immigrants. On the other hand, immigration reform activists and the larger Latino population continue to push the president to use his authority to push through some sort of reprieve for those waiting deportation.
On Wednesday, House Republicans approved the ENFORCE Act by a vote of 233 to 181, according to Think Progress. The legislature would allow Congress to bring civil lawsuits against the executive branch for failing to enforce federal law. One of the targets of said legislature would be Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which would defer deportation cases for those who illegally entered the country as children. They also passed another law that would make the attorney general report to Congress on the government's law enforcement decisions.
Another push by Republicans in the House Judiciary Committee eliminated the public advocate for undocumented immigrants who face hearings at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to the Washington Post. Although Republicans argue that the president has not been enforcing immigration, he has deported near to 2 million undocumented immigrants, far more the President Bush.
It is because of this that Latinos and immigration reform advocates continue to push the government, and the president in particular, to reform the laws. With an election coming soon, Democrats feel the ire of a large part of their voting block and move to find a solution. On Friday, the president met with immigration reform activists and for two hours discussed potential plans, according to the New York Times. The president asked activists to remain focused on pushing for legislature. In return, the activists said they would keep pressure on Republicans.
"We agree with the president that the only permanent solution is legislation," said Lorella Praeli, a leader of United We Dream, a youth organization, to the Times. "We disagree that he cannot act today to halt deportations and be bold on the administrative front. We don't need a review at this time. We need him to act."
Republicans disagree and see the president's actions as the problem in the reform process. "What are we to do when a president, regardless of motivation, nullifies our vote by failing to faithfully execute the law?" Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) said in a speech on the House floor. "Why pursue immigration reform if presidents can turn off the very provisions that we pass?"
Yet immigration reform activists and their friends in Congress argue the president could do more, according to the Times. Their suggestions include extending protections from deportation for undocumented immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens and telling immigration officials that their priorities ought to be those ineligible for legalization, if an immigration overhaul recently passed by the Senate becomes law.
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