Top Democrats in both Houses support President Obama’s plan to take executive action on immigration. Obama is considering an executive order that would protect up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation and grant work permits to many of them.
In a November 17 letter to the President, current Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and five other top Senate Democrats said they will “stand behind [Obama] to support changes to keep families together.”
“Immigrant communities have waited too long for House Republicans to catch up with the American public’s support for comprehensive immigration reform,” the letter to Obama states. “We strongly support your plan to improve as much of the immigration system as you can within your legal authority, and will stand behind you to support changes to keep families together while continuing to enforce our immigration laws in a way that protects our national security and public safety.”
In a November 13 letter to the President, 117 House Democrats, led by Representatives Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), called on Obama to take “bold and meaningful executive action” on immigration.
Meanwhile, some 59 House Republicans, led by Arizona Congressman Matt Salmon, issued a letter calling on House leaders to “prohibit the use of funds by the administration for the implementation of current or future executive actions that would create additional work permits and green cards outside of the scope prescribed by Congress.”
Senate Democrats are likely to block any bill that contains such language and Congress needs to extend funding by December 11 to keep the federal government running.
Keeping the threat of a government shutdown alive, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said, “We’re going to fight the president tooth and nail if he continues down this path.” He added, “This is the wrong way to govern.”
Unlike President Reagan’s 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, executive action by Obama would not provide sweeping immigration reform. Reagan’s bill granted “amnesty” to nearly 3 million undocumented immigrants who entered the country before 1982. An executive order by Obama would not create a path to citizenship or permanent resident status, but could grant temporary relief to millions of undocumented immigrants.
This article provides general information only. Do not consider it as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Each legal case is different and case examples do not constitute a prediction or guarantee of success or failure in any other case. The sharing or receipt of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.
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Photo by: Shubert Ciencia