Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who has topped most recent opinion polls gauging public opinion of likely candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, has been criticized by conservatives for his advocacy of a “path for citizenship” for illegal immigrants. He has often used that term and other language that is closer to that employed by President Obama (e.g., a “broken” immigration system) than to the more accurate descriptions of these situations employed by those who advocate strict enforcement of our immigration laws.
A report in Voice of America (VOA) on December 29 predicted that President Obama’s recent executive action to protect some illegal aliens from being deported may actually have killed prospects of the president reaching a comprehensive immigration agreement with Congress in 2015.
In an interview with NPR broadcast December 29, President Obama posed the rhetorical question: “By me having taken these [executive] actions, does that spur those voices in the Republican Party who I think genuinely believe immigration is good for our country?... Or does it simply solidify what I do think is a nativist trend in parts of the Republican Party?”
Angela Navarro, who has been living in the United States illegally since 2003, has recently taken up residence in a Philadelphia church to avoid deportation. It is an unofficial policy among immigration officials not to apprehend illegal aliens who seek sanctuary in churches.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released its fiscal year (FY) 2014 enforcement statistics on December 19 in an ICE report that indicated that “overall removals” (deportations) had declined.
In an opinion filed on December 16, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, federal Judge Arthur Schwab said President Obama’s immigration actions are invalid, effectively count as “legislation” from the executive branch, and concludes that they are “unconstitutional.”
Senator Rand Paul today introduced the Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act on December 12. The bill (which has not yet been assigned a bill number, but has been placed on the Senate’s legislative calendar) is companion legislation to Rep. Ted Yoho’s bill of the same name (H.R. 5759) that passed the House of Representatives on December 4, 2014 on a 219-197 vote.
Leon Rodriguez, the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), told Spanish-speaking reporters during a conference call that “undocumented” (illegal) immigrants should be able to start applying for deferred action granting them protection from deportation and work permits in February and May.
In a December 9 interview in Nashville with Telemundo’s news co-anchor, José Díaz-Balart, President Obama assured illegal immigrant viewers that if they meet certain qualifications, they "won't be deported."
The White House has admitted that under Obama’s proposal to offer amnesty to nearly five million illegal immigrants, those illegals would also receive tax credits and other benefits, prompting Republicans to further criticize the president’s immigration policy.
On a 219-197 vote that was mostly along party lines, the House of Representatives passed the Executive Amnesty Prevention Act of 2014 (H.R. 5759) on December 4. The largely symbolic measure was passed in response to President Obama’s November 20 announcement that he would use executive action to remove the “fear of deportation” and provide three-year work permits for up to five million illegal aliens currently living in the United States.